GlaxoSmithKline to option Adaptimmune’s oncology T-cell program

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The latest in GlaxoSmithKline’s R&D shake-up has seen the company take up the option from a 2014 contract to develop Adaptimmune’s T-cell therapy. GSK will pay Adaptimmune £48 million ($61 million) to exclusively license the right to research, develop, and sell the company’s oncology NY-ESO SPEAR T-cell therapy program.

NY-ESO is being investigated for a range of cancers, including: sarcoma, non-small cell lung cancer, and ovarian cancer. The therapy is also being investigated in combination with Merck’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab), an anti-PD-1 inhibitor, this trial had a recent safety scare but Adaptimmune’s CEO is confident that this will not result in an FDA trial hold or ongoing issues for the testing.

GSK’s option payment is priced at $30 million, with development milestones making up a further $18 million. Adaptimmune will be eligible for undisclosed royalty sums should the therapy reach markets.

James Noble, CEO at Adaptimmune commented, ‘The commitment by one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies to the NY-ESO SPEAR T-cell program as a new treatment modality is a testament to the strength of our data in synovial sarcoma recently presented at ASCO. From a financial perspective, this option exercise extends our cash runway into 2020. We anticipate the transition of NY-ESO to GSK to be completed over the coming months, after which we will focus our clinical resources on delivery and execution from our wholly-owned assets MAGE-A4, MAGE-A10 and AFP.’

Axel Hoos, SVP of Oncology R&D at GSK, added: “The aim of GSK’s R&D is to develop medicines with transformational potential for patients. We have seen compelling data for the NY-ESO investigational cell therapy in synovial sarcoma and, following this option exercise, we will capitalize on our in-house Cell and Gene Therapy capabilities to support the development program for GSK3377794. We will continue to explore the potential for this novel cell therapy in multiple tumor types, and in combination with other cancer therapies.”

Source:GlaxoSmithKline hits ‘go’ on Adaptimmune’s SPEAR T-cell program Press Release