DUBLIN – Even by any normal measure of European biotechnology investment, the first two quarters of 2020 were memorable. If it maintains the present momentum, Europe’s drug development sector is on course for a record-breaking year, having already raised $5.034 billion in publicly disclosed equity investments. That puts it well ahead of any other year – the sector edged to a new high in 2019 when it raised $7.739 billion over the full 12 months – but, of course, comparisons with any other year seem irrelevant. This year is like no other. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed everything.
LONDON – Immunocore Ltd. has closed a series B round that will bring in more than $130 million, breathing fresh energy into its T-cell receptor programs in cancer and extending the reach of the technology into infectious and autoimmune diseases.
Unveiled by Oxfordshire, U.K.-based Immunocore Ltd. at the November meeting of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) in National Harbor, Md., were encouraging new findings from the phase I/II study with tebentafusp (also known as IMC-gp100), a bispecific protein in the pivotal works for metastatic uveal melanoma (MUM). The results showed a correlation between treatment-induced immune response and improvement in overall survival (OS) and tumor shrinkage in advanced uveal as well as cutaneous melanoma.