Phase III trial evaluating Imfinzi and epacadostat in patients with locally-advanced, unresectable non-small cell lung cancer is expected to begin in the first half of 2018
AstraZeneca and MedImmune, its global biologics research and development arm, today announced the expansion of their clinical collaboration with Incyte Corporation. As part of the agreement, the companies will evaluate the efficacy and safety of epacadostat, Incyte’s investigational selective IDO1 enzyme inhibitor, in combination with AstraZeneca’s Imfinzi (durvalumab), a human monoclonal antibody directed against PD-L1, compared to Imfinzi alone.
The exclusive collaboration for the study population allows for the two companies to conduct a Phase III trial in patients with locally-advanced (Stage III), unresectable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose disease has not progressed following platinum-based chemotherapy concurrent with radiation therapy (CRT).
Sean Bohen, Executive Vice President, Global Medicines Development and Chief Medical Officer at AstraZeneca, said: “Imfinzi has shown exciting clinical potential in treating patients with locally-advanced lung cancer. We are pleased to build on recent data from the PACIFIC trial to further explore how Imfinzi, in combination with an IDO inhibitor could provide additional benefit to patients with locally-advanced lung cancer."
Steven Stein, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Incyte, said: “We are pleased to expand our ongoing clinical collaboration with AstraZeneca and to further explore the potential of epacadostat in patients with locally-advanced unresectable lung cancer. We look forward to beginning an additional pivotal trial for epacadostat, as we seek to position IDO1 enzyme inhibition as a key component of combination immunotherapy.”
The Phase III trial, which will be co-funded by the two companies and will be conducted by AstraZeneca, is expected to begin enrolling patients in the first half of 2018. This agreement builds on an existing clinical collaboration for Imfinzi and epacadostat announced by both companies in May 2014.
NOTES TO EDITORS
About Locally-Advanced (Stage III) NSCLC
Stage III lung cancer is divided into two stages (IIIA and IIIB), which are defined by how much the cancer has spread locally and the possibility of surgery.
Stage III lung cancer represents approximately one-third of NSCLC incidence and was estimated to affect around 105,000 patients in seven leading markets in 2016. More than half of these patients have tumours that are unresectable. The current standard of care is chemotherapy and radiation followed by active surveillance to monitor for progression. The prognosis remains poor and long-term survival rates are low.
About Epacadostat (INCB024360)
The immunosuppressive effects of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO1) enzyme activity on the tumour microenvironment help cancer cells evade immunosurveillance. Epacadostat is an investigational, highly-potent and selective oral inhibitor of the IDO1 enzyme. In single-arm studies, the combination of epacadostat and immune checkpoint inhibitors has shown proof-of-concept in patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer, renal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck and bladder cancer. In these studies, epacadostat combined with the CTLA-4 inhibitor ipilimumab or the PD-1 inhibitors pembrolizumab or nivolumab improved response rates compared with studies of the immune checkpoint inhibitors alone.
Imfinzi (durvalumab), a human monoclonal antibody directed against PD-L1, blocks PD-L1 interaction with PD-1 on tumour cells and CD80 on immune cells, countering the tumour’s immune-evading tactics and inducing an immune response.
Imfinzi continues to be studied in multiple monotherapy trials and combination trials with tremelimumab and other potential new medicines in Immuno-Oncology. Imfinzi is being assessed in Phase III trials as a monotherapy in various stages of NSCLC, in small-cell lung cancer (SCLC), in metastatic urothelial cancer (mUC) and in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). The combination of Imfinzi and tremelimumab is being assessed in Phase III trials in NSCLC, SCLC, mUC and HNSCC and in Phase I/II trials in hepatocellular carcinoma and haematological malignancies.
Incyte Corporation is a Wilmington, Delaware-based biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of proprietary therapeutics. For additional information on Incyte, please visit the Company’s website at www.incyte.com.
Follow @Incyte on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Incyte.
About AstraZeneca in Lung Cancer
AstraZeneca is committed to developing medicines to help every patient with lung cancer. We have two approved medicines and a growing pipeline that targets genetic changes in tumour cells and boosts the power of the immune response against cancer. Our unrelenting pursuit of science aims to deliver more breakthrough therapies with the goal of extending and improving the lives of patients across all stages of disease and lines of therapy.
About AstraZeneca’s Approach to Immuno-Oncology (IO)
Immuno-Oncology (IO) is a therapeutic approach designed to stimulate the body’s immune system to attack tumours. At AstraZeneca and MedImmune, our biologics research and development arm, our IO portfolio is anchored by immunotherapies that have been designed to overcome anti-tumour immune suppression. We believe that IO-based therapies will offer the potential for life-changing cancer treatments for the vast majority of patients.
We are pursuing a comprehensive clinical trial programme that includes Imfinzi (anti-PD-L1) monotherapy and in combination in multiple tumour types, stages of disease, and lines of therapy, using the PD-L1 biomarker as a decision-making tool to define the best potential treatment path for a patient. In addition, the ability to combine our IO portfolio with small, targeted molecules from across our oncology pipeline, and with those of our research partners, may provide new treatment options across a broad range of tumours.
AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three therapy areas - Oncology, Cardiovascular & Metabolic Diseases and Respiratory. The Company also is selectively active in the areas of autoimmunity, neuroscience and infection. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.
For more information, please visit www.astrazeneca.com and follow us on Twitter @AstraZeneca.