AstraZeneca Partners in Immuno-OncologyBy
AstraZeneca reports that MedImmune, its global biologics research and development arm, has entered into a collaboration to conduct clinical trials in immuno-oncology with Immunocore Limited, a privately held UK-based biotechnology company.
Under the terms of the agreement, Immunocore will conduct a Phase Ib/II clinical trial combining MedImmune's investigational checkpoint inhibitors, MEDI4736 (anti-PD-L1) and/or tremelimumab (anti-CTLA-4), with IMCgp100, Immunocore's lead T-cell receptor-based investigational therapeutic, for the potential treatment of patients with metastatic melanoma. MedImmune has an exclusive relationship with Immunocore for the development of IMCgp100 in combination with MEDI4736 and/or tremelimumab, and will have first right of negotiation for the future commercial development of these combinations for tumors expressing glycoprotein 100 (gp100), a tumor-associated antigen.
Immunocore and MedImmune will collaborate to establish a dosing regimen for IMCgp100 combined with MEDI4736 and/or tremelimumab within the Phase Ib study. The Phase II study will assess the safety and efficacy of the different combinations.
The companies have a pre-existing research collaboration and licensing agreement, announced in January 2014, to develop cancer therapies using Immunocore's Immune Mobilizing Monoclonal T-Cell Receptor (mTCR) Against Cancer (ImmTAC) technology. Immunocore's ImmTAC proprietary technology is focused on small protein molecules called ImmTACs (Immune Mobilizing mTCR Against Cancer) that enable the immune system to recognize and kill cancerous cells.