The collaboration seeks to produce novel off-the-shelf TCR-based bispecific molecules designed to overcome current limitations in cell therapy approaches against solid tumors
SAN DIEGO and Singapore – December 21, 2023 – ImmunoScape, a biotechnology company focused on next-generation T Cell receptor (TCR)-based immunotherapies, announced a partnership with the Experimental Drug Development Centre (EDDC), Singapore’s national platform for drug discovery and development hosted by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).
ImmunoScape’s core antigen-specific T cell immune profiling technology was developed at A*STAR’s Singapore Immunology Network and is exclusively licensed from A*STAR. Since its spinout from A*STAR in 2016, ImmunoScape has developed a cutting-edge, high-throughput, TCR discovery platform that produces a broad and emerging portfolio of novel, safe, and efficacious TCRs against solid tumors.
In this new partnership, ImmunoScape will leverage its catalog of highly potent tumor-specific TCR candidates for the joint development of innovative off-the-shelf TCR-based bispecific molecules with EDDC. These molecules contain two distinct binding sites and are engineered to bind and activate T cells, redirecting them towards tumor sites for interaction with cells expressing the unique tumor-specific antigen through the TCR. This approach enables the patient’s own T cell repertoire to selectively eliminate cancer cells. EDDC will apply its expertise in therapeutic protein design and antibody engineering to develop these novel TCR-based bispecific molecules.
“The benefit of off-the-shelf TCR molecules is that they do not require engineering and manufacturing of the patients’ own T cells, which can make them accessible to a much broader patient population and further results in much lower production costs and shorter timelines for the patients to receive the drug,” said Choon-Peng Ng, CEO of ImmunoScape. “By combining the power of our machine learning-augmented TCR discovery platform with EDDC’s broad expertise in the design of multifunctional constructs, we will aim to rapidly develop novel off-the-shelf TCR-based bispecific molecules that could overcome widespread challenges in cell therapy approaches against solid tumors.”
“We are thrilled to join forces with ImmunoScape to design and produce TCR-based bispecific constructs that could lead to more effective treatments for solid tumors,” said Damian O’Connell, CEO of EDDC. “Our deep expertise in progressing projects from discovery and production of antibodies to the design of multifunctional constructs, paired with ImmunoScape’s TCR discovery platform and library of tumor-specific TCRs, will allow us to jointly develop molecules for sensitive and effective tumor targeting in a T cell-independent manner.”
The collaboration is set to commence in early 2024.
ImmunoScape is a biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of next-generation TCR cell therapies in the field of oncology. The company’s proprietary Deep Immunomics technology and machine learning platforms enable highly sensitive, large-scale mining and immune profiling of T cells in cancer patient samples to identify novel, therapeutically relevant TCRs across multiple types of solid tumors. ImmunoScape has multiple discovery programs ongoing and will be progressing towards IND-enabling studies and entry into the clinic. For more information, please visit https://immunoscape.com/.
The Experimental Drug Development Centre (EDDC) is Singapore’s national platform for drug discovery and development, formed from the integration of the Experimental Therapeutics Centre (ETC), Drug, Discovery and Development (D3), and Experimental Biotherapeutics Centre (EBC) in 2019. EDDC aims to develop therapeutics and diagnostics that save and improve the lives of patients in Singapore, Asia and around the world. Hosted by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), EDDC works collaboratively with public sector and industry partners to translate the great science arising from Singapore’s biomedical and clinical sciences R&D into innovative healthcare solutions. For more information about EDDC, please visit http://www.eddc.sg/
Kalyn Kolek for ImmunoScape
Corporate Communications, A*STAR