OREANDA-NEWS. Imperial Innovations Group plc notes today's announcement by portfolio company Cell Medica (the 'Company') of a new research collaboration with UCL (University College London) which will see the Company utilise UCL's novel T cell receptor (TCR) technology to generate leading-edge modified TCR products for the treatment of cancer.

The collaboration also provides Cell Medica with an exclusive worldwide option and licence agreement for these technologies, as well as TCR gene sequences for the development and commercialisation of specific products. 

The collaboration builds on the research of Professor Hans Stauss and Professor Emma Morris of UCL, global leaders in developing modified TCRs for cancer treatments, both of whom are based at the Royal Free Hospital, a UCL Partners academic health science centre.

UCL will conduct the preclinical and early clinical research under the guidance of a Joint Steering Committee. Cell Medica will support the product development work with its substantial experience in manufacturing clinical-grade cell therapies and establishing robust production processes suitable for industrial scale-up. Following completion of successful first-in-man studies, the products will transfer to Cell Medica for later-stage clinical development and commercialisation.

Cell Medica has entered into an exclusive licence and option agreement with UCL Business, the technology commercialisation company of UCL, for the dominant TCR platform patent and two target antigens. As part of this agreement, both parties can bring targets or platform technologies to the collaboration, aiming to generate leading-edge modified TCR products.

In addition, UCL and Cell Medica have signed a Sponsored Research Agreement under which Cell Medica will fund all research and development with an exclusive option to licence all products developed within the collaboration. The financial terms of this transaction have not been disclosed. 

Russ Cummings, CEO at Imperial Innovations, said:

"This new collaboration with UCL adds the modified TCR technology platform to Cell Medica's strategy to develop breakthrough treatments for cancer using cellular immunotherapy products.

"It follows the recent exclusive licensing agreement and a co-development partnership signed with the Baylor College of Medicine (Baylor) and the acquisition of Delenex Therapeutics, all of which have significantly added to Cell Medica's armoury as it seeks to capitalise on the market opportunity for next-generation products which harness the human immune response to fight cancer."

Cell Medica is a cellular immunotherapy company, focused on the development, manufacture and marketing of cell-based therapeutics for the treatment of cancers and infectious disease. As at 31 January 2016, the Group had a 27.0% interest in the issued share capital of the Company with such interest having a net fair value of GBP 21.0 million.