AstraZeneca and Eli Lilly will test the potential of combining their immunotherapy and angiogenesis-inhibiting cancer drugs to treat patients with advanced solid tumours.

The plan is to put a combination of AZ’ investigational anti-PD-L1 immune checkpoint inhibitor MEDI4736 and Lilly’s VEGF Receptor 2 antiangiogenic Cyramza (ramucirumab) through a Phase I clinical trial to establish safety and a recommended dosing regimen.

According to the firms, preclinical data indicate that marrying VEGFR inhibitors with immune checkpoint blockades has the potential to enhance anti-tumour activity.

“This collaboration represents the next wave of immuno-oncology research by bringing together two innovative medicines…as a novel combination that we hope will one day provide new cancer treatment solutions,” noted Richard Gaynor, senior vice president, product development and medical affairs, Lilly Oncology.

Further details on the deal were kept under wraps, except that trial will be sponsored by Lilly.