Immunocore, a biotechnology company developing novel biological drugs to treat cancer and other diseases headquartered outside Oxford, England, and MedImmune, the global biologics R&D arm of AstraZeneca, have entered into a second collaboration.
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 gp100.
Immunocore and MedImmune will collaborate to establish a dosing regimen for IMCgp100 combined with MEDI4736 and/or tremelimumab, as part of 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 novel cancer therapies using Immunocore's Immune Mobilizing Monoclonal T-Cell Receptor Against Cancer (ImmTAC) technology.
MEDI4736, tremelimumab and IMCgp100 are members of a new class of cancer treatments known as immunotherapies, which are designed to enhance the body's own immune system in fighting cancer. AstraZeneca and MedImmune have a broad program of immuno-oncology combination trials planned and underway to address multiple immune pathways, harnessing the company's own extensive pipeline and working in partnership to explore the significant potential of immunotherapies in transforming the way cancer patients are treated.