UNITED KINGDOM – Immatics has expanded a strategic partnership with Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) to develop multiple allogeneic off-the-shelf T cell receptor-based therapy (TCR-T) and/or chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T) programs.

Under the alliance, the companies will develop two programmes owned by BMS and both of them will hold an option for developing up to four additional programmes each.

The programs will leverage ACTallo, a gamma delta T cell-derived, allogeneic Adoptive Cell Therapy (ACT) platform of Immatics and various next-generation technologies of BMS.

As per the deal, Immatics is eligible to get US$60m in upfront payment as well as development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments of up to US$700m for each BMS program.

In addition, Immatics will receive tiered royalty payments on net sales of the product.

Immatics will oversee the preclinical development of the first two BMS-owned programmes and get further payment for certain works that the former could carry out at the request of BMS.

BMS will handle the subsequent clinical development and marketing of all the programmes owned by the company.

Furthermore, the company agreed to expand a partnership entered in 2019 for autologous TCR-T, to include another Immatics-discovered TCR target.

Under this alliance, Immatics is entitled to get US$20m in upfront payment as well as milestone and royalty payments.

Bristol Myers Squibb Research & Early Development executive vice-president Rupert Vessey said: “The announcement represents an important part of our continued investment in next-generation cell therapies that have the potential to provide transformative outcomes to patients with cancer.

We are excited to expand our collaboration with Immatics that allows us to combine their novel off-the-shelf platforms with our industry-leading research and manufacturing expertise in cell therapy to develop new allogeneic cell therapy treatments to potentially help patients with solid tumor malignancies.

In May this year, BMS and BridgeBio Pharma signed an exclusive license agreement to develop and market BBP-398 in oncology.

Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) has also acquired the targeted cancer drug developer Turning Point Therapeutics for US$4.1 billion, buying into future opportunities for kinase drug development.

The acquisition grants BMS access to the company’s oncology pipeline and lead candidate, repotrectinib.

Repotrectinib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor designed to target proto-oncogene tyrosine-protein kinase ROS (ROS1) and neurotrophic tyrosine receptor kinase, oncogenic drivers of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and other advanced solid tumors.

According to a BMS press release, the Phase I/II TRIDENT-1 clinical trial found a longer duration of response with repotrectinib versus existing ROS1 agents in first-line NSCLC.

Liked this article? Sign up to receive our regular email newsletters, focused on Africa and World’s healthcare industry, directly into your inbox. SUBSCRIBE HERE