- Adaptimmune Therapeutics plc (NASDAQ: ADAP) and TCR² Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: TCRR) announced a plan to merge. These are the details.
Adaptimmune Therapeutics plc (NASDAQ: ADAP) and TCR² Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: TCRR) announced an entry into a definitive agreement under which Adaptimmune will combine with TCR² in an all-stock transaction to create a preeminent cell therapy company focused on treating solid tumors. This combination provides extensive benefits for clinical development and product delivery supported by complementary technology platforms. As a result, and following the closing of the transaction, it is anticipated that the combined company’s cash runway will extend into 2026.
The lead clinical franchises for the combined company utilize engineered T-cell therapies targeting MAGE-A4 and mesothelin. These targets are expressed on a broad range of solid tumors and are supported by compelling early- and late-stage clinical data. And the combined company also has a preclinical pipeline of additional target opportunities with development initially focused on PRAME and CD70.
Solid Tumor Opportunity
- Solid tumors represent about 90% of all cancers. And The combined company’s clinical programs targeting MAGE-A4 or mesothelin can address multiple solid tumor indications with the potential to treat >300,000 patients per year in the EU and US.
- For patients with tumors potentially expressing MAGE-A4 and mesothelin, the combined company plans to screen for both targets to find eligible patients.
- In addition, the preclinical pipeline, including PRAME and CD70, could expand the addressable population.
- The combined company will possess two clinically validated and complementary platforms in SPEAR and TRuC T-cells enabling the engagement of both intracellular targets (with SPEAR) and extracellular targets (with TRuC), thus broadening the potential number of addressable cancers.
- Adaptimmune’s proprietary SPEAR T-cell technology is based on the affinity enhancement and engineering of T-cell receptors (TCRs) to target solid tumor-specific peptide: HLA complexes.
- TCR2‘s proprietary TRuC T-cell technology utilizes an antibody-based binding domain fused to TCR subunits to reprogram an intact TCR complex to recognize tumor surface antigens.
- Both technologies can be further leveraged in the combined company’s allogeneic platform.
- The novelty, complexity, and rapid growth of the cell therapy field have highlighted the need for companies to develop specialized capabilities with the goal of delivering treatments that are both curative and mainstream.
- To this end, over the last decade, the teams at Adaptimmune and TCR2 have been responsible for successfully advancing multiple programs from preclinical concepts to late-stage products.
- The combined company, located in key innovation hubs, will have a deep bench of cell therapy professionals, infrastructure, and end-to-end capabilities.
“This strategic combination takes two technologically and culturally aligned companies at the forefront of their fields and combines them to create a preeminent cell therapy company for solid tumors. The combined company will drive forward its pipeline of cell therapies aimed at treating multiple cancers with high unmet medical needs. This includes gaining approval for the first engineered TCR T-cell therapy for a solid tumor – afami-cel for the treatment of synovial sarcoma. With our cash runway anticipated to be extended into 2026 and covering multiple clinical catalysts in cancers with significant market potential, the combined company is well placed to develop cell therapies as a mainstream option for people with cancer.”
- Adrian Rawcliffe, Adaptimmune’s Chief Executive Officer
“The strategic rationale for this combination and the operating benefits are highly compelling for both Adaptimmune and TCR² shareholders. The combination of our two companies not only sets the stage for near-term execution but also positions the new company for the longer-term. We jointly have an array of next-generation innovations that we will integrate to address the tumor micro-environment using both autologous and allogeneic approaches. Focus and specialization are critical in the cell therapy space and we believe the combined company has the technologies necessary to succeed. I am delighted that this combination provides a strong foundation to commercialize curative therapies for people with cancer.”
- Garry Menzel, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of TCR2 Therapeutics