Biotechnology company Immunocore has signed a strategic alliance with Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, to develop novel biological drugs known as ImmTACs against multiple cancers.

The research collaboration and licensing agreement will make use of Immunocore’s ImmTAC technology for the discovery and development of multiple novel cancer targets.

Immunocore chief executive officer James Noble said, "We are very pleased to have Genentech, a recognised leader in oncology, on board as our first major partner to discover, develop and commercialise ImmTAC therapies against multiple cancer targets."

As per the deal, Genentech will make an initiation fee payment of between $10m and $20m per programme to Immunocore.

Immunocore is also eligible for more than $300m in development and commercial milestone payments for each target programme, besides significant tiered royalties.

Immunocore chief scientific officer and founder Bent Jakobsen said the collaboration with Genentech generating ImmTACs against the novel targets allows the companies to jointly explore the technology’s true potential.

"We have established a robust and reproducible platform and we look forward to see ImmTACs addressing some of the major challenges in cancer therapy," Jakobsen added.

ImmTACs is the platform of bi-specific biological drugs designed to utilise the power of T Cell Receptors (TCRs) in recognising intracellular changes that occur during cancer or viral infection.

Only cancerous cells are targeted using the technology, avoiding damage to healthy cells.

Image: Genentech is the first major partner to discover, develop and commercialise ImmTAC cancer therapies. Photo: Coolcaesar at en.wikipedia.