AstraZeneca and MedImmune have expanded their clinical collaboration with Incyte to carry out a late-stage trial assessing an experimental combination therapy for lung cancer.

Under the expanded agreement, the companies will carry out a Phase III trial investigating the efficacy and safety of epacadostat, Incyte’s investigational selective IDO1 enzyme inhibitor, in combination with AstraZeneca’s immunotherapy Imfinzi (durvalumab), a human monoclonal antibody directed against PD-L1, compared to Imfinzi alone.

The trial will include 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).

“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," said Sean Bohen, AZ’ chief medical officer, commenting on the move.

The Phase III trial, which will be co-funded by the two companies and will be conducted by AZ, is expected to begin enrolling patients in the first half of next year.

This new agreements builds on an existing clinical collaboration for Imfinzi and epacadostat formed back in May 2014.