MedImmune and Immunocore in multi-million pound deal to develop new cancer drugs


Immunocore could receive up to £300m in milestone payments

AstraZeneca's global biologics research and development arm, MedImmune, has entered into a research collaboration and licensing agreement with Immunocore, an Oxford, UK-based biotechnology company, aimed at expanding its oncology portfolio.

The companies will develop new cancer drugs using Immunocore's Immune Mobilising Monoclonal T-Cell Receptor Against Cancer (ImmTAC) technology. ImmTACs harness the body's immune system to find and kill diseased cells, while avoiding damage to healthy cells.

Immunocore will receive an upfront payment of $20m per programme and the company is then eligible to receive up to $300m in development and commercial milestone payments for each target programme and significant tiered royalties if the programmes are successful.

'We look forward to collaborating with Immunocore on this promising area of cancer research that has the potential to further enhance our immune-mediated cancer therapy portfolio for patients with a range of cancer types,' said Bahija Jallal, Executive Vice President of MedImmune.

'Immunocore has a strong track record with its innovative ImmTAC technology, and presents a significant opportunity for us to achieve treatment breakthroughs in the area of immune-mediated cancer therapies.'

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Oncology is a core therapy area for AstraZeneca spanning both small molecule and biologics research and development. The company is developing a comprehensive portfolio of cancer therapies that harness the patient's immune system to fight cancer in a tumour-targeted way.