T-cell specialist Immunocore raises $320m in private finance

Andrew McConaghie

Immunocore, a UK-based biotech specialising in T-cell receptor drugs has raised $320 million (£205 million), making it Europe’s largest private life sciences financing.

Immunocore’s proprietary technology is focused on small protein molecules called ImmTACs (Immune mobilising mTCR Against Cancer) that enable the immune system to recognise and kill cancerous or bacterially/virally infected cells.

The Oxford-based firm says ImmTACs have potential against a larger range of disease than existing immuno-oncology agents, are very high potency, have encouraging safety and low cost of goods.

The $320 million will enable Immunocore to further accelerate its pipeline, which includes partnerships with GlaxoSmithKline, Roche and AstraZeneca. It also has its own lead programme, IMCgp100, which produced positive phase I/IIa data in April in patients with advanced metastatic cutaneous and ocular melanoma.

Dr Eliot Forster, chief executive of Immunocore, commented on the financing round: “We are delighted by the interest we have received in this financing round, which was significantly oversubscribed.”

New investors included Woodford Investment Management, Malin Corporation, Eli Lilly and RTW Investments, in addition to existing investors.

“Our new investors include some of the most highly-regarded international institutions in the healthcare sector. We believe this is another endorsement of our technology, our novel class of TCR-based biologic therapies, of our mission to build a world-leading biotechnology company and of the outstanding scientists at Immunocore.

“This funding will be invaluable in assisting us to continue the rapid advancement of IMCgp100 in the clinic and the further development of our internal portfolio of ImmTACs. This supports us in our mission to build a premier biotech company based on our ImmTAC technology platform,” he concluded.

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