T-cell therapies, such as CAR-T, and immuno-oncology more broadly are areas of interest for us to which we have exposure through the likes of Autolus, Cell Medica and Immunocore. The deal and the price paid for Kite Pharma, shines a very positive light on the future potential of these assets and the growing interest that major pharma companies are showing in the technology.15 September 2017
Immunocore is a clinical-stage biotech founded in 2008 with technology spun out from Oxford University in 1999. The company operates in the fast-evolving field of immuno-oncology (treatments that use the immune system to kill cancers) and its foundation is based on T-Cell Receptor (TCR) technology. We first invested in the company in July 2015, following first-in-man clinical data on their lead asset.
Since then, the company has continued to deliver outstanding data as its lead asset has progressed through clinical studies and it has built a robust pipeline with substantial commercial potential, which is attracting increasing attention from institutions such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Meanwhile, Immunocore also has multi-target discovery partnerships with a number of large healthcare companies, such as AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, Genentech and GlaxoSmithKline.
Investment case summary
The company operates in one of the fastest growing areas of the healthcare industry – the immuno-oncology market which, in recent years, has been gaining more attention from regulators, investors and the wider life sciences industry. Our investment case in Immunocore is constructed around the company’s considerable potential to create shareholder value by using its proprietary platform technology to develop new treatments and subsequently commercialising them.
The company’s pipeline is diverse and includes its lead asset, IMCgp100 – currently in a pivotal clinical study for the treatment of metastatic uveal melanoma, a rare cancer with no approved treatments, and a range of earlier-stage drug candidates, like IMC-C103C and IMC-D104C which are being developed as potential treatments for various types of solid cancer. However, the company is also looking to apply its technology beyond the field of immuno-oncology. In this respect, the collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which was concluded in September 2017, represents a significant step forward for the company’s longer-term strategy of developing therapies in areas other than cancers, including infectious and autoimmune diseases.
Immunocore has progressed through a number of inflection points already and we are confident that it will continue to meet further value accretive milestones going forward.
|Equity Income Fund||0.85%|
|Patient Capital Trust||5.06%|
As at 31 October 2018
Aggregated portfolio weight across more than one line of stock.
...Immunocore can deliver significant further growth as it progresses towards the commercialisation of its highly promising technology and advances additional development candidates towards the clinic.15 June 2017
Immunocore presented compelling data from its lead programme, IMCgp100, at the world’s biggest oncology conference – the American Society for Clinical Oncology. The data demonstrated a meaningful improvement in progression free survival for patients with the condition. Effectively, this means that the drug doubles the length of time the condition stays stable without progressing further.15 June 2017