AstraZeneca has signed yet another cancer deal, this time a clinical trial pact with Peregrine Pharma to investigate whether combining two of their experimental immunotherapies with different modes of action could prove more powerful in fighting cancer than either alone.

A Phase I/Ib trial will assess the safety and efficacy of Peregrine’s phosphatidylserine (PS)-signaling pathway inhibitor bavituximab in combination with AZ’ investigational anti-PD-L1 immune checkpoint inhibitor durvalumab in multiple solid tumours.

The Phase I part of the trial is expected to establish a recommended dose regimen for the combination and the Phase Ib part of the trial will assess  safety and efficacy. 

Under the terms of the agreement, the initial trial will be conducted by Peregrine. Commenting on the deal, its president and chief executive said “data generated to date have shown significant potential for combining bavituximab with agents targeting the PD-1/PDL-1 pathway and we’re excited to further explore this approach”.

Earlier this month AZ signed a stream of cancer deals with Inovio, Heptara, and Mirati.

New CMO at Roche

Meanwhile, AZ has named Sean Bohen as its new chief medical officer and executive vice president of global medicines development from September 15. 

Bohen has come from Roche’s Genentech, where he held the position of senior vice president of early development.