September 10, 2015
MD Anderson, Immatics partner to develop adoptive cellular therapies
BY Ron Gilmore
Immatics Biotechnologies GmbH (Immatics) and MD Anderson have announced the launch of Immatics US, Inc., a new company aiming at becoming a global leader in adoptive cellular therapies (ACT) for the treatment of a range of tumor types.
Immatics believes that ACT approaches to be developed by the new company can change the treatment of cancer by delivering significant, long-lasting clinical benefits. The new company will strive to develop three different ACT approaches for the treatment of tumors with high unmet medical needs, the first of which will enter the clinic in 2016.
Immatics US, Inc. will develop both autologous and allogenic ACT approaches by capitalizing on MD Anderson’s clinical oncology and cell therapy expertise and Immatics’ unrivaled cancer target, and T cell receptor (TCR) discovery capabilities.
Immatics US, Inc. will be based in Houston and has secured a first funding round totaling over $60 million, with more than $40 million committed by the parent company Immatics Biotechnologies GmbH, and $19.7 million by a recently awarded grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). MD Anderson is a shareholder in Immatics, US, Inc.
Immatics has been able to use its unique technology platform XPRESIDENT®å for the discovery and further qualification of dozens of novel, proprietary and highly specific cancer targets that can be used as the basis for a range of cancer immunotherapy applications including ACT. This capability will enable the TCR-based approaches developed by Immatics US, Inc. to have complementary utility with other approaches for addressing tumor targets.
Immatics believes its ACTs will be both efficacious and safe due to the specificity of its novel well-characterized targets, including novel over-expressed, cancer-testis and neo-antigens ideally suited for specific and safe ACT approaches.
Immatics has been benefiting from MD Anderson’s outstanding understanding of cancer immunotherapy. Two leading MD Anderson scientists, Patrick Hwu, M.D., head of Cancer Medicine, and Cassian Yee, M.D., professor of Medical Melanoma Oncology, have laid the scientific foundation for the ACT development plans of Immatics US, Inc., and they will continue to provide ongoing practical support and guidance as the company develops its ACT approaches and therapies.
Immatics has also gained access to various technologies developed or in-licensed by MD Anderson. These include the use of the cytokine IL-21 for expansion of T cells, a gamma-delta T cell platform for allogeneic cell therapy approaches and various technologies designed to optimize the development of ACT.
Read more about this partnership in the Newsroom section of MD Anderson's website.