Immunocore Limited, just announced that it has secured a £205 million financing (€293 m) from private investors to push forward its T cell receptor (TCR) based biological drugs to treat cancer, viral infections and autoimmune diseases. This substantial amount of cash not only embodies the largest private investment ever made in Europe by a biotech company, but also the second largest worldwide after Moderna Therapeutics‘s record achievement.
Immunocore’s technology has everything to seduce investors. The age of monoclonal antibodies has passed, and Biotech companies are now looking for new technologies that combine the power of targeted therapies without resistance induced by monoclonal antibodies. Where other companies decided to develop CAR-T technologies, using boosted T cells, Immunocore went outside the box, and opted for another strategy using T cell receptors.
ImmTAC, Immunocore’s technology, is a new class of bi-specific biologic reagents that combine an affinity-enhanced T cell receptor (TCR)-based targeting system with an anti-CD3 effector function to specifically activate T cell responses to recognise and destroy cancer cells.