Glaxo picks Adaptimmune over Immunocore

Glaxosmithkline’s decision today to discontinue its early-stage NY-ESO-targeting project GSK3537142 looks like a vote of confidence in its more advanced NY-ESO asset, the Adaptimmune-originated lete-cel. Although the two projects have the same target they work slightly differently: lete-cel comprises T cells engineered to express an engineered T-cell receptor, while GSK3537142, which Glaxo had been developing with Immunocore, uses a soluble version of this T-cell receptor to recruit a patient's own T cells. Glaxo’s agreement with Immunocore, dating back to 2013, also involved a second target, but there is no mention of this in Glaxo’s pipeline, providing a strong hint that the partnership could be dead. Glaxo did not give details on why it had scrapped GSK3537142, but presumably it has seen more promising results with lete-cel; indeed, the latter, which is in a pivotal phase 2 trial in synovial sarcoma, is listed among Glaxo’s potential blockbuster launches. And there could be more good news for Adaptimmune: Glaxo is also developing two next-gen NY-ESO-targeting assets based on lete-cel, which incorporate additional receptors to increase anticancer activity.

Glaxo's NY-ESO projects
Project Description Status
Letetresgene-autoleucel (lete-cel, GSK3377794)* NY-ESO-1 TCR T-cell therapy Ph2 in synovial sarcoma (Ignyte-ESO, NCT03967223), NSCLC +/- Keytruda (NCT03709706)
GSK3901961** CD8/NY-ESO TCR T-cell therapy Ph1 (NCT04526509)
GSK3845097** TGFbR2/NY-ESO TCR T-cell therapy Ph1 (NCT04526509)
GSK3537142^ NY-ESO-ImmTAC Removed from ph1 pipeline owing to "portfolio prioritisation"
*Licensed from Adaptimmune; **next-gen version of lete-cel; ^partnered with Immunocore. Source: Evaluate Pharma, company presentation.

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