Infectious diseases

Generating novel therapies for chronic and acute infections

Chronic viral infections such as HIV & Hepatitis B occur when the virus manages to successfully hide from the immune system or drives the immune system to exhaustion.

Immunocore's bi-specific T cell receptor (TCR) technology platform is being investigated to offer a new approach for the treatment of chronic infections by redirecting non-exhausted immune cells to attack infected cells, even if those cells present levels of target that are too low for the natural immune system to see.

Immunocore has two investigational agents in active development programs, each aiming to eliminate evidence of remaining virus in circulation after the patient stops taking medication. This is known as a "functional cure." The most advanced program is for the treatment of chronic Hepatitis B; the second is a potential HIV treatment that is being developed in collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The video shows targeted killing of liver-derived hepatitis B antigen-positive cells by the investigational hepatitis B virus (HBV)-specific ImmTAV®.

Hepatitis B antigen-positive cells are mixed with hepatitis B antigen-negative cells and healthy donor T cells in culture. When the HBV-specific ImmTAV molecule is added, it redirects the T cells to kill only the hepatitis B antigen-positive cells, leaving the hepatitis B antigen-negative cells untouched. This shows the therapeutic potential of the HBV-specific ImmTAV to selectively target liver cells that have been infected with HBV.


Visualisation of IMC-I109V mediated killing of HBV+ target cells, in vitro (lab-based setting)

  • A liver cancer cell line that produces a viral protein, hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)
  • A HBsAg-negative liver cancer cell line
  • T lymphocytes isolated from healthy donor blood
  • Cell death marker