Gaithersburg, MD, January 21, 2015 – MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, announced today that it has entered into two umbrella Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), that are focused on immunotherapy and tumor targeted therapies for cancer.
These agreements will leverage technological know-how and resources from each organization to support preclinical and clinical research and development activities in these areas. MedImmune will gain access to NCI’s unique preclinical and clinical expertise to be applied to biological understanding of MedImmune’s immunomodulatory and tumor-targeted investigational antibody drugs with the goal of translating preclinical research to the clinic.
Four initial preclinical research projects have been identified. Two will investigate the combination of immunotherapy agents in novel mouse models that better represent human tumors and two projects will evaluate antibodies that specifically attack tumor cells to evaluate molecular imaging of antibody drug conjugates and evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of cancer stem cells.
“This important collaboration with the National Cancer Institute underscores our commitment to innovative collaborations between industry and the public sector and solutions that advance novel oncology research,” said Dr. Bahija Jallal, Executive Vice President, MedImmune. “We are fortunate that some of the nation’s best science takes place right in our backyard at NIH, and we look forward to bringing together top scientific expertise to help cancer patients in need.”
Immune-mediated therapies for cancer are a new and promising class of treatments that harness the body's own immune system to help fight cancer, and a key area of oncology research for MedImmune. Using immunotherapy candidates provided by MedImmune, the two immunotherapy projects will evaluate:
- Combination activity of four investigational compounds in genetically engineered mouse models; MEDI4736 (PD-L1), MEDI0680 (PD-1), tremelimumab (CTLA-4) and MEDI6469 (mOX40)
- Cancer vaccine combinations with three investigational agents in preclinical models; MEDI4736, tremelimumab and MEDI6469 (mOX40)
The second area of research under this partnership, tumor targeted therapies for cancer, will use cutting-edge technology such as antibody drug conjugates and anti-cancer stem cell therapies to directly and specifically attack tumor cells. The work will evaluate:
- Molecular imaging for MedImmune’s antibody drug conjugates
- Therapeutic efficacy in cancer stem cell models
“The NCI labs have unique preclinical and clinical expertise that will help advance MedImmune’s scientific research and development in two strategic areas of focus for us, immunotherapy and tumor targeted therapies for cancer. We look forward to expanding this relationship,” stated Dr. Ed Bradley, Senior Vice President, R&D and Head of MedImmune’s Oncology Innovative Medicines Unit.
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MedImmune is the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of small molecule and biologic prescription medicines. MedImmune is pioneering innovative research and exploring novel pathways across key therapeutic areas, including respiratory, inflammation and autoimmunity; cardiovascular and metabolic disease; oncology; neuroscience; and infection and vaccines. The MedImmune headquarters is located in Gaithersburg, MD, one of AstraZeneca’s three global R&D centers. For more information, please visit www.medimmune.com.
AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, inflammation, autoimmune, oncology, infection and neuroscience diseases. 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.
Tracy Rossin, MedImmune
Susannah Budington, MedImmune