Traditional targeted immunotherapies such as monoclonal antibodies are designed to specifically recognise and attack cancer cells, but despite strong initial anti-cancer effects and reduced toxicities, resistance is frequently observed due to high mutation rates, allowing cancers to return. More recent therapies, including the checkpoint inhibitors anti-PD1/PDL1 and anti-CTLA-4, focus instead on inducing a broad systemic immune response that can adapt itself to combat the evolving cancer, thereby increasing the potential for complete eradication. However, systemic activation can lead to high toxicities and, in the absence of cancer-specific targeting, low numbers of responders.
The ImmTAC solution provided by Immunocore brings together the cancer-specific focus of targeted therapies, at even higher affinities,with the potential for broad systemic immune activation, by being able to recruit circulating T cells in the bloodstream to kill cancer cells regardless of their antigen specificity. The unique mechanism of action provided by ImmTAC molecules may be further enhanced through combination with other treatment modalities including other immunotherapies.
The technology that underpins Immunocore’s proprietary ImmTAC platform is being developed to target viral diseases such as HIV. ImmTAV and ImmTAC molecules resemble each other in appearance and function, but ImmTAV molecules are designed to specifically recognise and kill virally infected cells.