OXFORD, England & CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. & ROCKVILLE, Md--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Immunocore Limited, a leading T Cell Receptor (TCR) biotechnology company, today announce the publication of “Tebentafusp: T Cell Redirection for the Treatment of Metastatic Uveal Melanoma” in a special issue on uveal melanoma in Cancers, an international, peer-reviewed monthly journal.1 Written by Dr. Bertil Damato, Dr. Richard Carvajal and experts at Immunocore, the paper provides an overview of the biology of uveal melanoma, the use of immunotherapy to treat metastatic disease and reviews tebentafusp, an investigational agent being studied for the treatment of metastatic uveal melanoma.
- Uveal melanoma is a rare and aggressive form of eye cancer that typically has a poor prognosis once it spreads beyond the eye.2 Nearly half of all patients diagnosed with uveal melanoma go on to develop metastatic disease. The median survival time after detection of metastases is around one year.2 Uveal melanomas have several characteristics that make them difficult to treat, including a low tumour mutational burden and low PD-L1 expression.1
- Tebentafusp is a novel bispecific protein comprised of a soluble T cell receptor fused to an anti-CD3 immune-effector function. It is the first molecule developed using Immunocore’s ImmTAC® technology platform designed to redirect T cells to recognise and kill cancer cells.
- Several studies with tebentafusp in both metastatic uveal melanoma and metastatic cutaneous melanoma are ongoing.
“With limited treatment options, the life expectancy of patients with metastatic uveal melanoma is dismal so that more effective therapies are urgently needed,” said Dr. Damato, Senior Clinical Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. “We are encouraged by the work Immunocore is doing in the area of uveal melanoma.”
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About ImmTAC® Molecules
Immunocore’s proprietary T cell receptor (TCR) technology generates a novel class of bispecific biologics called ImmTAC (Immune mobilising monoclonal TCRs Against Cancer) molecules that can potentially enable the immune system to recognise and kill cancerous cells. ImmTAC molecules are based on soluble TCRs engineered to recognise intracellular cancer antigens with ultra-high affinity and selectively kill cancer cells via an anti-CD3 immune-redirecting effector function. Based on the demonstrated mechanism of T cell infiltration into human tumours, the ImmTAC mechanism of action holds the potential to tackle solid “cold” low mutation rate tumours, the majority of tumours that historically have been difficult to treat.
Immunocore is a leading T cell receptor (TCR) biotechnology company working to create first-in-class biological therapies that have the potential to transform patients’ lives. The Company’s primary therapeutic focus is oncology and it also has programmes in infectious and autoimmune diseases. Immunocore has a pipeline of proprietary and partnered programmes in development and the lead tebentafusp is being investigated in pivotal clinical studies as a treatment for patients with metastatic uveal melanoma. Collaboration partners include Genentech, GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Lilly, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Immunocore is headquartered at Milton Park, Oxfordshire, UK, with offices in Conshohocken, PA and Rockville, MD, US. The Company is privately held by a broad international investor base. For more information, please visit www.immunocore.com.
About Uveal Melanoma
Uveal melanoma is an aggressive form of melanoma which affects the eye, which typically has a poor prognosis and for which there is no currently accepted optimal management or treatment.2 Although it is the most common primary intraocular malignancy in adults, the diagnosis is rare, with approximately 8,000 new patients diagnosed globally each year (1,600-2,000 cases/year in the US).2,3,4,5 Up to 50% of people with uveal melanoma will eventually develop metastatic disease.2 When the cancer spreads beyond the eye, approximately 40% of patients will survive for one year.2
1 Damato, B, Carvajal, RD, et. al. 2019. Tebentafusp: T cell redirection for the treatment of metastatic uveal melanoma. Cancers, 11(7), 971; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11070971.
2 Carvajal, RD, Schwartz, GK, Tezel, T, et al., 2017. Metastatic disease from uveal melanoma: treatment options and future prospects. British Journal of Ophthalmology, 101(1), 38-44.
3 Pandiani C, Béranger GE, Leclerc J, Ballotti R, Bertolotto C. Focus on cutaneous and uveal melanoma specificities. Genes Dev. 2017;31(8):724-743.
4 Jovanovic P, Mihajlovic M, Djordjevic-Jocic J, Vlajkovic S, Cekic S, Stefanovic V. Ocular melanoma: an overview of the current status. Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2013;6(7):1230-1244.
5 About ocular melanoma. Ocular Melanoma Foundation website. www.ocularmelanoma.org/about-om.htm. Accessed May 2019.
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