AstraZeneca, Peregrine in Immuno-Oncology Pact
AstraZeneca has entered into a clinical trial collaboration with Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, Inc. a biopharmaceutical company based in Tustin, California, to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Peregrine's investigational phosphatidylserine (PS)-signalling pathway inhibitor, bavituximab, in combination with AstraZeneca's investigational anti-PD-L1 immune checkpoint inhibitor, durvalumab. The planned Phase I/Ib trial will evaluate the safety and efficacy of bavituximab in combination with durvalumab in multiple solid tumors.
AstraZeneca and Peregrine will collaborate on a non-exclusive basis, to evaluate the combination of bavituximab and durvalumab with chemotherapy as a potential treatment in various solid tumors. The Phase I part of the trial is expected to establish a recommended dose regimen for the combination and the Phase Ib part of the trial will assess the safety and efficacy of the investigational combination. The initial trial will be conducted by Peregrine.
Bavituximab and durvalumab are investigational immunotherapies with different mechanisms that assist the body’s immune system in fighting cancer. Bavituximab is an investigational chimeric monoclonal antibody tha targets and modulates the activity of phosphatidylserine, a highly immune-suppressive molecule expressed broadly on the surface of cells in the tumour microenvironment. The treatment increases activated T-cells in tumors and fights cancer by reversing the immunosuppressive environment that many tumors establish in order to proliferate. Durvalumab is a monoclonal antibody directed against programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1). Signals from PD-L1 help tumors avoid detection by the immune system. Preclinical data have demonstrated that by combining the enhanced T-cell mediated anti-tumor activity of bavituximab with checkpoint inhibitors, such as PD-L1 antibodies, the ability of tumou-specific T-cells to continue attacking the tumor is prolonged.
Bavituximab is Peregrine’s lead drug candidate and is in Phase III development for treating second-line non-small lung cancer along with several investigator-sponsored trials evaluating other treatment combinations and additional oncology indications. The company is also advancing a molecular imaging agent, 124I-PGN650, in an exploratory clinical trial for the imaging of multiple solid tumor types. Peregrine also has in-house cGMP manufacturing capabilities through its wholly owned subsidiary Avid Bioservices, Incwhich provides development and biomanufacturing services for both Peregrine and third-party customers.