Gates Foundation invests $40m into UK biotech firm Immunocore

Courtney Goldsmith
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The Gates Foundation said viral and bacterial infections are among the leading global causes of morbidity and mortality (Source: Getty)

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will invest up to $40m (£29.5m) in UK biotech firm Immunocore to support the development of therapies for infectious diseases.

The funding will support the development of the Oxford-based firm's ImmTAV and ImmTAB therapeutics for infectious diseases that pose a global health challenge, particularly tuberculosis and HIV.

The firm has up to now concentrated on developing its T-cell receptor medicines, or TCR technology, to treat cancer, and it has collaborations with Roche, GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca and Eli Lilly in this area.

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Chris Karp, director of discovery and translational sciences at the Gates Foundation, said the company's technology has the potential to make a fundamental difference in the lives of patients with TB and HIV.

The collaboration will be part of a larger initiative within Immunocore to apply its soluble TCR-based therapeutics to new areas outside of cancer.

Eliot Forster, chief executive of Immunocore, said:

Many infectious diseases continue to represent a huge and growing global challenge. We’re delighted and honoured that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the most significant forces for positive change in global healthcare, has recognised the potential of Immunocore’s platform technology for advancing novel therapeutics for infectious diseases such as TB and HIV.

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