TUEBINGEN, Germany and HOUSTON, Aug. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Immatics Biotechnologies GmbH (Immatics) and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center announced today the launch of Immatics US, Inc., a new company aiming at becoming a global leader in adoptive cellular therapies (ACT) for the treatment of a range of tumor types.
Immatics believes that ACT approaches to be developed by the new company can achieve a step change in the treatment of cancer, by delivering significant, long-lasting clinical benefits. The new company will strive to develop three different ACT approaches for the treatment of tumors with high un-met medical needs, the first of which will enter the clinic in 2016.
Immatics US, Inc. will develop both autologous and allogenic ACT approaches by capitalizing on MD Anderson's world-leading clinical oncology and cell therapy expertise and Immatics' unrivaled cancer target and T-cell receptor (TCR) discovery capabilities.
Immatics US, Inc. will be based in Houston and has secured a first funding round totaling over $60m with more than $40m committed by the parent company Immatics Biotechnologies GmbH and $19.7 million by a recently awarded grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT).
Immatics has been able to use its unique and world-leading technology platform XPRESIDENT® for the discovery and further qualification of dozens of novel, proprietary and highly specific cancer targets that can be used as the basis for a range of cancer immunotherapy applications including ACT. This capability will enable Immatics US, Inc. to develop TCR-based approaches and to have complementary utility with other approaches for addressing tumor targets. Immatics believes its ACT will be both efficacious and safe due to the specificity of its novel well-characterized targets, including novel over-expressed, cancer-testis and neo-antigens ideally suited for specific and safe ACT approaches.
lmmatics has been benefiting from MDACC's outstanding understanding of cancer immunotherapy. Two leading MD Anderson scientists, Patrick Hwu, M.D., Division Head of Cancer Medicine, and Cassian Yee, M.D., Professor of Medical Melanoma Oncology, have laid the scientific foundation for the adoptive cell therapy development plans of lmmatics US, Inc., and they will continue to provide ongoing practical support and guidance as the Company develops its ACT approaches and therapies.
Immatics has also gained access to various technologies developed or in-licensed by MD Anderson. These include the use of the cytokine IL-21 for expansion of T cells, a gamma-delta T-cell platform for allogeneic cell therapy approaches and various technologies designed to optimize the development of ACT.
"The potential of cancer immunotherapy has been constrained by the lack of novel targets. Immatics has been working for the last 15 years to gain a broad and in-depth understanding of the immunopeptidome of tumor and normal tissue cells," said Harpreet Singh, CEO of Immatics US, Inc. "Based on this unique expertise we have discovered dozens of novel immunotherapy targets that will be central to the success of Immatics US, Inc. With several complementary development programs guided by some of the most exceptional scientists in the field of cancer immunotherapy, we are in exactly the right place to deliver transforming therapies to cancer patients with high medical need."
"We are extremely excited about the potential of Immatics US, Inc. to develop and commercialize the world's best ACT," said Paul Higham, CEO of the parent company Immatics. "The combination of MD Anderson's significant clinical oncology and cell therapy expertise and our own unrivaled cancer target discovery capabilities will allow us to develop the optimal ACT for the treatment of cancer, initially a range of solid tumors with high un-met medical need. I would like to thank CPRIT and our investors for their financial support and look forward to developing Immatics US, Inc. into one of the world's leading cancer immunotherapy companies."
"Our on-going efforts to provide the most innovative therapies to our patients are due, in part, to collaborations both in academia and industry," said Ronald DePinho, M.D., president of MD Anderson. "It is only through working with other leaders in cancer science will we provide the solutions of tomorrow."
Notes to Editors:
About Immatics US, Inc.
Immatics US, Inc. was launched by Immatics and MDACC to develop multiple next-generation adoptive cellular therapies for the treatment of cancer. Immatics US, Inc. is well positioned to become the global leader in ACT based on Immatics' unrivaled cancer target discovery capabilities, which allow it to access all types of cellular cancer targets including intracellular targets currently not addressed by other ACT approaches.
Immatics US, Inc. will focus on three adoptive cell therapy development approaches to treat tumors based on the significant expertise of leading academic collaborators: ACTolog™, ACTengine™ and ACTallo™.
ACTolog™ involves selecting, enriching and the ex-vivo expansion of a patient's endogenous T cells specifically recognizing Immatics' XPRESIDENT® targets. The ACTolog approach is based on the work of Cassian Yee, M.D., Professor of Medical Melanoma Oncology at MD Anderson.
ACTengine™ involves genetically engineering a patient's own T cells to express novel T-cell receptors which are specific to Immatics' XPRESIDENT® targets.
ACTallo™ is an allogenic approach that will use off-the-shelf T cells that have been engineered to express novel T-cell receptors.
The first ACTolog™, ACTengine™ and ACTallo™ clinical candidates, targeting cancers with high medical need, are expected to enter the clinic in 2016.
Immatics US, Inc. has been awarded a $19.7 million grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). It has also received a commitment for over $40 million of funding from the parent company, Immatics Biotechnologies GmbH. MD Anderson is a shareholder of Immatics US, Inc.
Immatics US, Inc. is led by Harpreet Singh (Chief Executive Officer), Steffen Walter (Chief Scientific Officer), Toni Weinschenk (Chief Technology Officer) and Carsten Reinhardt (Chief Medical Officer). Immatics US, Inc. is based in Houston, Texas.
About Immatics Biotechnologies GmbH
Immatics Biotechnologies GmbH is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that is a global leader in cancer immunotherapy.
This leading position is based on Immatics' unique and world-leading technology platform XPRESIDENT® that enables the Company to discover novel relevant, highly specific cancer antigens, both intra-cellular and surface, that are expressed by tumor cells. These highly relevant peptide cancer antigens constitute the basis for developing a range of rationally designed cancer immunotherapies including cancer vaccines, peptide-targeting compounds such as antibodies, soluble T-cell receptors and adoptive cellular therapies. The antigens that Immatics discovers have a major advantage in that they are confirmed to be naturally expressed in primary cancer tissue, this contrasts with peptide antigens which are identified using widely applied in silico and indirect techniques.
Immatics' lead product, IMA901, is in a pivotal phase 3 study. Immatics' cancer vaccine pipeline also includes IMA910 for treatment of advanced colorectal cancer, and IMA950 for the treatment of glioma.
Immatics signed a cancer immunotherapy collaboration with Roche in November 2013 to research, develop and commercialize a number of new cancer peptide antigen based immunotherapies, targeting primarily gastric, prostate and non-small cell lung cancer.
Immatics is based in Tuebingen and Martinsried (Munich), Germany, and employs approximately 85 people (FTEs).
About MD Anderson
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston ranks as one of the world's most respected centers focused on cancer patient care, research, education and prevention. MD Anderson is one of only 41 comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). For the past 25 years, MD Anderson has ranked as one of the nation's top two cancer centers in U.S. News & World Report's annual "Best Hospitals" survey. MD Anderson receives a cancer center support grant from the NCI of the National Institutes of Health (P30 CA016672).
About the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT)
Beginning operations in 2009, CPRIT has to date awarded $1.35 billion in grants to Texas researchers, institutions and organizations. CPRIT provides funding through its academic research, prevention and product development research programs. Programs made possible with CPRIT funding have reached all 254 counties of the state, brought nearly 100 distinguished researchers to Texas, advanced scientific and clinical knowledge, and provided more than
2.5 million life-saving education, training, prevention and early detection services to Texans. Learn more at cprit.state.tx.us.
For additional information on Immatics please visit www.immatics.com or contact:
Immatics Biotechnologies GmbH
Phone: +49 7071 5397 110
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Phone: +44 207 638 9571
SOURCE Immatics US, Inc.