Immatics Biotechnologies GmbH enters into a strategic cooperation with the US-pharmaceutical company Celgene for the development of novel adoptive cell therapies for several types of cancer. Under the agreement, the German biotech company Immatics will receive an upfront payment of USD 75 million. Depending on success, Celgene will pay up to further USD 505 million for each of the three T-cell receptor projects.
In a strategic partnership, Immatics Biotechnologies GmbH, one of the largest German biotechnology companies based in Tübingen, Munich and Houston,Texas, and the US-pharmaceutical company Celgene intend to develop novel cancer cell therapies. In addition to the upfront payment of USD 75 million, Immatics will receive up to USD 1.5 billion in milestone payments and royalties depending on the success of the projects. Immatics is responsible for the preclinical development of the three programs. Celgene will assume sole responsability for further worldwide development, manufacturing and commercialization of the TCR-T-cell therapies.
With T-cell receptors against solid tumors
This latest multi-million partnership confirms the interest of large pharmaceutical and biotech companies in the South German company's novel T-cell receptor-based therapies. Following the partnerships with Amgen and Genmab agreed in the last two years, in which Immatics and its partners develop bispecific T-cell receptors (TCER®) and antibodies, this collaboration is the first in which the company uses its leading discovery and engineering platforms XPRESIDENT® and XCEPTOR® to develop cell therapies.
Immatics has been active in research and development of cancer immunotherapies for 20 years. The company focuses on the potential of T-cell receptors, which are able to recognize intracellular target structures that tumor cells present on their surface. This property makes it possible to also combat solid tumors. Immatics' clinical and preclinical programs are all based on the target structures and the corresponding T-cell receptors identified and validated by Immatics. These are developed at three locations - Tübingen, Munich and Houston, Tx - by a total of 180 employees.
Tübingen - Munich - Houston
Besides the headquarters and the research and development center in Tübingen, Immatics opened 10 years ago a site in Munich, another strong location in Germany. According to Immatics, the proximity to Immatics' collaboration partners such as Morphosys, Roche and Amgen, as well as the immediate vicinity to high-class research facilities, university clinics and like-minded companies, spoke for the Bavarian capital. In addition, the biotech company has established a joint venture with the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX to jointly develop adoptive T-cell therapies. There are currently four programs in clinical development.
Immatics' CEO Dr. Harpreet Singh says: “By combining Immatics’ world-leading discovery engines as well as our cellular manufacturing and clinical development platforms with Celgene’s broad expertise in cell therapy research, development and commercialization, the companies join forces to enable the development of truly novel opportunities for patients with solid tumors who currently have no other treatment options.” wants to combine the strengths of both partners "to enable the development of truly novel opportunities for patients with solid tumors who currently have no other treatment options".
Dr. Carsten Reinhardt, Managing Director and Chief Medical Officer of Immatics GmbH, is delighted to announce the renewed partnership with a major partner: "With Celgene, we have convinced a leading cell therapy company of Immatics' ability to identify new targets and generate highly specific T-cell receptors. Not only do we have high hopes to develop new highly specific cancer therapies together with Celgene, but we also see this partnership as further commitment to German biotechnology research by the world's leading pharmaceutical companies."