Incyte Corporation (Nasdaq: INCY) and MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, announced today that they 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.
Under the terms of the agreement, 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.
Dr. Bahija Jallal, Executive Vice President, MedImmune, said: “Immuno-oncology is one of the most exciting areas in our industry and we are progressing our strong pipeline as rapidly as possible. Our partnership with Incyte is further evidence of our belief that combination therapies have the potential to be one of the most effective ways of treating cancer.”