MedImmune has entered into a clinical trial collaboration with Advaxis, Inc., a US-based biotechnology company developing cancer immunotherapies.
The two companies will collaborate on a Phase I/II immunotherapy study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of MedImmune’s investigational anti-PD-L1 immune checkpoint inhibitor, MEDI4736, in combination with Advaxis’ lead cancer immunotherapy vaccine, ADXS-HPV, as a treatment for patients with advanced, recurrent or refractory human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated cervical cancer and HPV-associated head and neck cancer.
Both MEDI4736 and ADXS-HPV are cancer immunotherapies. ADXS-HPV enhances the ability of immune cells to combat the tumour whereas MEDI4736 is designed to counter the tumour’s immune-evading tactics by blocking a signal that helps tumours avoid detection, according to MedImmune.
MedImmune and Advaxis will evaluate the combination as a treatment for HPV-associated cervical cancer and squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. The Phase I part of the trial is expected to establish a recommended dose regimen of MEDI4736 with ADXS-HPV, and the Phase II portion will assess the safety and efficacy of the combination. The study will be funded and conducted by Advaxis.
The deal gives MedImmune a non-exclusive relationship with respect to HPV-driven tumour types. MedImmune has first right of negotiation for future development of combinations involving MEDI4736 and ADXS-HPV.