MedImmune is teaming up with the Cancer Research Institute (CRI) and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research to carry out clinical trials evaluating combinations of cancer immunotherapies, including MedImmune’s antibody candidates tremelimumab, Anti-OX40, and anti-B7-H1 (MED14736), together with other agents available to the CRI/Ludwig portfolio or accessed through partnerships. The Ludwig Institute and CRI will carry out the trials through their joint Cancer Vaccine Collaborative network of clinical immunologists and oncologists, in parallel with MedImmune continuing with its ongoing development of the three candidates in-house.
Tremelimumab is a fully human anti-CTLA-4 monoclonal antibody designed to block CTLA-4 expressed on the surface of activated T lymphocytes. The candidate is currently undergoing Phase II trials against solid tumors. Anti-OX40 is a monoclonal antibody OX40 receptor agonist designed to stimulate the immune system and overcome the ability of some cancers to suppress the immune system’s anticancer responses. MED14736 is a human monoclonal antibody targeting B7 homolog 1, which is involved in the receptor-ligand system that controls T cell activation. MedImmune says preclinical studies indicate that tumors expressing B7-H1 can evade detection and elimination by the immune system, and that blocking the interaction between B7-H1 and its receptors PD-1 and CD80 can help overcome the immunosuppressive effects of B7-H1 on antitumor T cells.
“This collaboration is an innovative way to advanced immunologic therapies and uncover optimal treatments for patients with cancer,” comments Edward Bradley, M.D., senior vp and head of MedImmune’s Oncology Innovative Medicines Unit. “By joining forces at the early stages of clinical development, MedImmune can leverage the extensive experience and synergy of these premier cancer research institutions to expand its portfolio of clinical-stage immunoactive molecules.”