Roche pays $300 million upfront under agreement with Adaptive Biotechnologies to develop personalised cellular therapies for cancer

Roche's Genentech unit agreed to pay Adaptive Biotechnologies $300 million upfront as part of a deal to develop, manufacture and commercialise neoantigen directed T-cell therapies for the treatment of cancer, the latter reported Friday. Under the agreement, Adaptive is eligible to receive more than $2 billion over time, including milestone payments and royalties on sales.

The deal will combine Genentech's experience in cancer immunotherapy R&D with Adaptive's T-cell receptor (TCR) discovery and immune profiling platform called TruTCR. "We believe targeting neoantigens could be the most effective approach for harnessing a person's immune system to fight cancer," commented James Sabry, global head of pharma partnering at Roche, adding "this partnership…has the potential to change the way cancer is treated and bring us one step closer to truly personalised healthcare."

In the partnership, Genentech will be responsible for clinical, regulatory, and commercialisation efforts, with Adaptive leading patient-specific screening on a global basis. 

The news comes after Roche expanded its partnership with Immunocore last November to include the latter's experimental T cell redirecting bi-specific biologic IMC-C103C. The prior month, Roche revised its collaboration with SQZ Biotechnologies to include the development and commercialisation of products based on antigen-presenting cells for use against certain cancer types.

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