Date: 2012-10-09

Type of information: R&D agreement

Compound: novel combinations of immunotherapies, including three investigational monoclonal antibodies from MedImmune’s pipeline (Tremelimumab (CTLA-4 blocking antibody), Anti-OX40 Mab, PD-L1 monoclonal Antibody (Anti-B7-H1) or MEDI4736)

Company: The Cancer Research Institute (CRI - USA), the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, MedImmune (USA - global biologics arm of AstraZeneca (UK)

Therapeutic area: Cancer - Oncology

Type agreement:


Action mechanism:

monoclonal antibody/immune checkpoint inhibitor. Tremelimumab is a fully human monoclonal antibody which binds to the protein CTLA-4, expressed on the surface of activated T lymphocytes. Tremelimumab is currently in phase 2 clinical development for solid tumors. Anti-OX40 is a monoclonal antibody agonist of the OX40 receptor which is a member of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor superfamily expressed on the surface of activated T-cells. The immune stimulating properties of OX40 agonists could provide an immunologic stimulus to overcome some of the immunosuppressive properties of cancer, and thus offers potential as a new class of agents for the treatment of cancer. B7 homolog 1 (B7-H1) is part of a complex system of receptors and ligands that are involved in controlling T-cell activation. Preclinical research suggests that tumors expressing B7-H1 evade detection and elimination of a tumor by the immune system. Preclinical studies of MEDI4736, a human monoclonal antibody directed against B7-H1, have been shown to block the interaction between B7-H1 and its receptors, PD-1 and CD80 (B7-1). This blockade may help to overcome the immunosuppressive effects of B7-H1 on anti-tumor T cells.

Disease: solid tumors, cancer


The Cancer Research Institute (CRI), the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and MedImmune, the global biologics arm of AstraZeneca, have signed a collaboration agreement to advance the research of immunotherapy in cancer. Specifically, the research will focus on clinical trials to test novel combinations of immunotherapies, including three investigational monoclonal antibodies from MedImmune’s pipeline.
The Ludwig Institute and CRI will conduct trials of cancer immunotherapy combinations using three investigational monoclonal antibodies that MedImmune will provide to CRI and the Ludwig Institute from its product pipeline, combined with other priority agents available to the CRI/Ludwig portfolio or potentially accessed through additional partnerships. The MedImmune agents include the CTLA-4 blocking antibody tremelimumab, an OX40 receptor agonist antibody, and a B7-H1 (or PD-L1) blocking antibody. These antibodies modify regulatory checkpoints of the immune system, and are able to increase the body’s immune response to cancer. In addition to the combination trials, MedImmune will continue its original development plan for the three agents, which are currently being studied in pre-clinical and clinical studies.
The clinical trials will be conducted by CRI and the Ludwig Institute through their jointly coordinated global Cancer Vaccine Collaborative (CVC) network of clinical immunologists and oncologists with extensive knowledge and focus on immunotherapy programs. The CVC is led by Jedd Wolchok, MD, PhD, assistant member of the Ludwig Institute and an associate attending physician and director of Immunotherapy Clinical Trials at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Financial terms:

Financial terms were not disclosed.

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Is general: Yes