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ImmunoScape and Singapore's Experimental Drug Development Centre Forge Partnership to Advance Development of Innovative T Cell Receptor-Based Therapeutics

Friday, December 22, 2023

ImmunoScape, a biotechnology firm focusing on next-generation T Cell receptor (TCR)-based immunotherapies, has recently announced a collaboration with the Experimental Drug Development Centre (EDDC) in Singapore. The EDDC serves as the national platform for drug discovery and development under the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).

The foundational technology of ImmunoScape, centered on antigen-specific T cell immune profiling, originated from ASTAR’s Singapore Immunology Network and is exclusively licensed. Since its separation from ASTAR in 2016, ImmunoScape has pioneered a high-throughput TCR discovery platform, generating a diverse portfolio of TCRs targeting solid tumors.

In this partnership, ImmunoScape plans to use its repository of tumor-specific TCR candidates to collaboratively develop off-the-shelf TCR-based bispecific molecules with EDDC. These molecules, featuring two distinct binding sites, aim to activate T cells and redirect them toward tumor sites, leveraging the patient's own T cell repertoire to selectively eliminate cancer cells. EDDC, with its expertise in therapeutic protein design and antibody engineering, will contribute to developing these novel TCR-based bispecific molecules.

Choon-Peng Ng, CEO of ImmunoScape, highlighted the advantages of off-the-shelf TCR molecules, emphasizing their accessibility to a broader patient population, lower production costs, and shorter timelines for drug administration. The collaboration aims to combine ImmunoScape's machine learning-augmented TCR discovery platform with EDDC’s extensive experience in multifunctional construct design to address challenges in cell therapy approaches against solid tumors.

Damian O'Connell, CEO of EDDC, expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration, emphasizing the potential for designing TCR-based bispecific constructs that could lead to more effective treatments for solid tumors. The partnership aims to capitalize on EDDC’s expertise in progressing projects from discovery and antibody production to the design of multifunctional constructs, coupled with ImmunoScape’s TCR discovery platform and library of tumor-specific TCRs, to jointly develop molecules for sensitive and effective tumor targeting in a T cell-independent manner.



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