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Adaptive Biotechnologies, Genentech Form Personalized Cancer Therapy Partnership

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) — Adaptive Biotechnologies said today that it has signed an agreement with Genentech to use its TruTCR T-cell receptor (TCR) screening platform to help the drug company develop personalized cancer therapies.

TruTCR uses immunosequencing and other technologies to identify and characterize TCRs that effectively bind to target antigens. Under the terms of the deal, Adaptive will use the platform to identify TCRs that can be used to target individual cancer patients' neoantigens. It will also handle patient-specific screening worldwide. South San Francisco-based Genentech — a unit of Roche — will engineer and manufacture personalized therapies based on these TCRs, and be responsible for clinical, regulatory, and commercialization activities.

Seattle-based Adaptive will receive a $300 million upfront payment from Genentech. It also stands to gain up to $2 billion in future development, regulatory, and commercial milestones, as well as royalties.

Additional terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"We believe targeting neoantigens could be the most effective approach for harnessing a person’s immune system to fight cancer," James Sabry, global head of pharma partnering at Roche, said in a statement. "This partnership, which combines Adaptive's pioneering platform for identifying T-cell receptors with Genentech's cancer immunology expertise, has the potential to change the way cancer is treated and bring us one step closer to truly personalized healthcare."

Last year, Adaptive signed an agreement to assess minimal residual disease in multiple myeloma patients treated with an investigational Sanofi drug. It has formed similar alliances with Amgen and Janssen.