AstraZeneca trigger $10 million milestone payment for Heptares in immuno-oncology candidate

pharmafile | July 6, 2016 | News story | Research and Development, Sales and Marketing AstraZeneca, Heptares 

AstraZeneca (LSE: AZN) is set to deliver a payment of $10 million to Heptares Therapeutics after the first patient was dosed in a Phase I clinical study for immune-oncology candidate HTL1071.

Heptares, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sosei Group Corporation, sold the rights to the adenosine A2A receptor antagonist last August, with the potential for future milestone payments to reach as high as $500 million.

In this Phase I first-in-human study, approximately 50 patients with advanced solid malignancies and with non-small cell lung cancer will be dosed with HTL1071. The primary objective of the trial is to determine the maximum tolerated dose of HTL1071 as a monotherapy and in combination with durvalumab (MEDI4736), which is itself an investigational human monoclonal antibody directed against PDL1.

Pending the determination of the maximum tolerated dose, a Phase II trial is planned to further investigate the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and anti-tumour activity of the selected doses.

Susan Galbraith, head of oncology in AstraZeneca’s innovative medicines and early development unit, says: “Immuno-oncology is one of four key oncology platforms for AstraZeneca. In building our immune-oncology portfolio, we believe that blocking adenosine A receptor could enhance the efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibition via PDL1, CTLA4 and enhance the activity of CD73 inhibition. This innovative approach could help drive an immune attack on cancers, creating novel treatments with the potential to transform the lives of patients.”

Sean Murray

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