AstraZeneca announced Wednesday that its MedImmune unit entered into a partnership with Mirati Therapeutics to conduct a Phase I/II clinical study evaluating MedImmune's experimental anti-PDL1 immune checkpoint inhibitor durvalumab, also known as MEDI4736, in combination with Mirati's investigational HDAC inhibitor mocetinostat. The trial will initially focus on patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), with the potential to investigate other indications in the future. David Berman, head of oncology innovative medicines at MedImmune, remarked that the collaboration "is yet another example of our combination-focused immuno-oncology strategy."
Under the agreed terms, Mirati will fund and conduct the study, which is scheduled to start next year, while AstraZeneca will supply durvalumab. The drugmakers have also created a joint steering committee to oversee the trial. Meanwhile, if the trial yields positive results, MedImmune will have an exclusive period to negotiate a commercial license for the combination of durvalumab and mocetinostat in NSCLC. According to Mirati CEO Charles Baum, "there is a growing body of evidence that mocetinostat may enhance the efficacy of immune check-point inhibitors such as PD-L1 antibodies."
In May, AstraZeneca announced that it entered into a collaboration to co-develop durvalumab in combination with Eli Lilly's VEGF receptor 2 agonist Cyramza (ramucirumab) for the treatment of advanced solid tumours. The UK drugmaker also recently forged a partnership with Celgene to assessdurvalumab efficacy against a number of blood cancers, including non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, myelodysplastic syndromes and multiple myeloma, both as monotherapy and in combination with other treatments.
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