AstraZeneca, Lilly Expand Immuno-oncology Collaboration

AstraZeneca and Eli Lilly and Company have announced an extension to their existing immuno-oncology collaboration exploring combination therapies for the treatment of patients with solid tumors. Under the terms of the expanded agreement, AstraZeneca and Lilly will evaluate the safety and efficacy of a range of additional combinations across the companies' complementary portfolios. Lilly will lead the execution of the studies with both companies contributing resources. Additional details of the collaboration, including tumors to be studied and financial terms, were not disclosed.

AstraZeneca's anti-PD-L1 immune checkpoint inhibitor, durvalumab (MEDI4736), will be combined with Lilly molecules that target the immune system, including: the TGF-beta kinase inhibitor, galunisertib; an CXCR4 peptide antagonist; and an anti-CSF-1R monoclonal antibody, which will be assessed additionally with AstraZeneca's anti-CTLA-4 monoclonal antibody, tremelimumab.

The companies will also explore other combinations targeting tumor drivers and resistance mechanisms, including: Lilly's abemaciclib (CDK4 and 6 small-molecule inhibitor) with Faslodex, AstraZeneca's marketed selective oestrogen receptor down regulator (SERD); Both Cyramza (ramucirumab) and necitumumab, Lilly's anti-VEGFR and anti-EGFR monoclonal antibodies respectively, with AZD9291, AstraZeneca's investigational third generation EGFR inhibitor.

Earlier this year, Lilly and AstraZeneca announced a Phase I clinical trial collaboration to evaluate the safety and preliminary efficacy of combining durvalumab and ramucirumab as a treatment for patients with advanced solid tumors.

In addition to combinations within the company's own pipeline of immuno-oncology and small-molecule investigational medicines, AstraZeneca and its biologics research and development arm, MedImmune, have a broad programme of combination clinical trials underway with a range of partners. By 2020, AstraZeneca is aiming to bring six new cancer medicines to market.

Source: AstraZeneca

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