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Neogene Therapeutics Licenses TCR Portfolio From NCI

NEW YORK – Neogene Therapeutics on Tuesday said it has licensed from the National Cancer Institute a portfolio of T-cell receptors targeting KRAS and TP53 mutations that it will develop into precision cancer therapies.

Under the terms of the agreement, the NCI will receive an undisclosed upfront payment from Neogene and can also receive certain clinical, regulatory, and sales milestone payments as well as royalties on net sales of products covered by the license. In turn, Neogene, located in Santa Monica, California, and Amsterdam has worldwide rights to develop, manufacture, and commercialize this TCR portfolio of autologous and allogeneic T-cell therapy candidates.

The portfolio of CRISPR-engineered TCRs were discovered in the lab of Steven Rosenberg, chief of surgery at the NCI. The assets will complement Neogene's neoantigen TCR discovery and T-cell engineering platform, which the company aims to use to develop neoantigen-specific TCRs for individual cancer patients.

"TP53 and KRAS are among the most commonly mutated genes in cancer, however, very few therapies specifically targeting these mutations are currently available, and there is a high unmet need for effective treatment options," Raphaël Rousseau, Neogene's chief medical officer, said in a statement.

"Adding these TCRs to our pipeline will enable Neogene to flexibly develop them alone or in combination with individualized neoantigen TCR cell therapies, providing us with the opportunity to diversify our pipeline and potentially target multiple neoantigens in individual patients," added Neogene CEO Carsten Linnemann. "This is a strategic step toward strengthening Neogene's breadth and position as a global leader in the development of TCR therapies for the treatment of solid cancers."