Lion Biotechnologies, Inc. has announced that it has entered into a collaboration to conduct clinical and preclinical research in immuno-oncology with MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca.
Under the terms of the agreement, Lion will fund and conduct two Phase 2a clinical trials combining MedImmune’s investigational PD-L1 inhibitor durvalumab with TIL for the treatment of patients with metastatic melanoma, and head and neck cancer. MedImmune will supply durvalumab for the clinical trials. The purpose of the studies is to establish a dosing regimen for this combination therapy and assess its safety and efficacy.
Preclinical research under the agreement will focus on identifying and evaluating therapeutically effective combinations of MedImmune’s checkpoint antibodies, using TIL as an in vitro model of the tumor microenvironment. The research will be funded by MedImmune and conducted by Lion.
“This collaboration with MedImmune will allow us to investigate combination strategies using TIL and immunotherapeutic agents,” said Elma Hawkins, PhD, Lion’s president and chief executive officer. “In preclinical studies, TIL and anti-PD-1/PD-L1 combination regimens have demonstrated significant anti-tumor activity, suggesting a synergistic effect. We look forward to working with MedImmune to further develop this approach and other combination therapies that we believe have the potential to meaningfully improve outcomes for patients.”
Dr. Ed Bradley, Senior Vice President, Oncology, MedImmune , commented, “Our partnership with Lion underscores our commitment to advancing immuno-oncology, as well as our belief that combination therapies have the potential to be one of the most effective ways of treating cancer. We look forward to leveraging Lion’s expertise in the discovery and development of TIL, both in the preclinical setting and in our planned combination trials in melanoma and head and neck cancer.”