GSK has exercised its option to exclusively license the right to research, develop, and commercialise Adaptimmune's NY-ESO SPEAR T-cell therapy programme, from a collaboration and license agreement signed in 2014.

Adaptimmune will receive up to £48 million from GSK over the course of the transition period. This includes development milestones of up to £18 million and the option payment of £30 million, which also allows GSK to nominate two additional targets following completion of the transition. Successful continuation of development and subsequent commercialization of NY-ESO would trigger additional payments for development milestones, tiered sales milestones, and mid-single to low double-digit royalties on worldwide net sales.

"This is a very exciting day for Adaptimmune as GSK has exercised its option over our NY-ESO program earlier than originally planned," commented James Noble, Chief Executive Officer at Adaptimmune. "We anticipate the transition of NY-ESO to GSK to be completed over the coming months, after which we will focus our clinical resources on delivery and execution from our wholly-owned assets MAGE-A4, MAGE-A10, and AFP."

Axel Hoos, SVP Oncology R&D, GSK said "The aim of GSK's R&D is to develop medicines with transformational potential for patients.  We have seen compelling data for the NY-ESO investigational cell therapy in synovial sarcoma and, following this option exercise, we will capitalize on our in-house Cell and Gene Therapy capabilities to support the development program for GSK3377794. We will continue to explore the potential for this novel cell therapy in multiple tumor types, and in combination with other cancer therapies."