Incyte, a Wilmington, Del.-based biopharmaceutical company, and MedImmune, the global biologics R&D arm of AstraZeneca, have entered into a clinical study collaboration. The phase I/II oncology study will evaluate the efficacy and safety of MedImmune’s investigational anti-PD-L1 immune checkpoint inhibitor, MEDI4736, in combination with Incyte’s oral indoleamine dioxygenase-1 (IDO1) inhibitor, INCB24360.
Both MEDI4736 and INCB24360 are investigational compounds that are part of a new class of cancer treatments known as immunotherapies, which use the body's own immune system to help fight cancer. MEDI4736 blocks the signals that help tumors avoid detection by the immune system, countering the tumor’s immune-evading tactics, while INCB24360 enhances the ability of immune cells to combat the tumor. Preclinical evidence suggests that the combination of these two agents may lead to an enhanced anti-tumor immune response.
MedImmune and Incyte will collaborate on a non-exclusive basis on the study, to evaluate the combination in multiple solid tumors including metastatic melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer, squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck and pancreatic cancer. The phase I part of the trial is expected to establish a recommended dose regimen of both MEDI4736 and INCB24360 and the phase II part of the study will assess the safety and efficacy of the combination. Results from the study will be used to determine whether further clinical development of this combination is warranted. The study will be co-funded equally by Incyte and MedImmune and conducted by Incyte.
“Research collaborations that evaluate combinations of novel immunotherapies across a broad range of indications have the potential to accelerate our understanding of this rapidly evolving field, to identify new areas of opportunity for immunotherapies, and to more rapidly address the unmet needs of patients with a wide range of cancers,” said Hervé Hoppenot, president and CEO of Incyte. “For these reasons, we welcome the opportunity to work with MedImmune to explore the potential of combining MEDI4736 with INCB24360.”