OX40 work has reached a new milestone

October 16, 2014

AgonOx, a biotechnology company focused on immunotherapy development, today announced that its OX40 platform is being utilized in MedImmune’s Phase I trial of its humanized OX40 agonist, MEDI6383.  MedImmune is the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca.

MedImmune licensed the OX40 agonist platform in 2011 from AgonOx as the result of a partnership between the Providence Cancer Center and AgonOx, a spin-off company from the Providence Cancer Center.

OX40 agonists are under clinical development to determine their anti-tumor effect, as they may enhance T-cell stimulation and promote the immune system’s potential to kill tumor cells.

The phase I multi-center trial (NCT02221960) is designed to evaluate the safety and tolerability of MEDI6383 as a treatment for patients with solid tumors.

This new clinical trial builds upon the translational research and clinical evaluation of an OX40 agonist conducted at the Robert W. Franz Cancer Research Institute at Providence Cancer Center by a research team led by Andrew Weinberg, Ph.D. and Brendan Curti, MD.

”Immuno-oncology is one of the most promising areas of clinical stage drug development today,” said Andrew Weinberg, AgonOx founder and president, and inventor of the OX40 platform for cancer therapy licensed by MedImmune. “The evaluation of this new OX40 agonist, MEDI6383, represents an opportunity to improve immune-based cancer therapies.”

Providence Cancer Center, one of the sites selected by MedImmune to participate in the clinical trial, has recently enrolled their first patient.

“We are excited to be opening a new chapter in OX40 clinical development that is based on the pioneering work of Dr. Weinberg and the team at Providence Cancer Center,” said Dr. Curti, medical oncologist and director of the Providence Immunotherapy Program at Providence Cancer Center.

Using the body’s own immune system as a defense against cancer has been our center’s goal for over 20 years,” said Walter J. Urba, M.D., Ph.D., oncologist and director, Robert W. Franz Cancer Research Center in the Earle A. Chiles Research Institute, Providence Cancer Center. “I am pleased at the prospect of offering this potentially life-saving trial to patients at our center.”


AgonOx is a privately held, biotechnology company developing a pipeline of novel immunotherapy drugs targeting key regulators of the immune response to cancer.  In 2011, in partnership with Providence Health & Services-Oregon, AgonOx entered into an exclusive global partnership with MedImmune, the global biologics arm of AstraZeneca, to develop its OX40 agonist program.

Providence Cancer Center, a part of Providence Health & Services, offers the latest in cancer services, including diagnostic, treatment, prevention, education, support and internationally renowned research. The main area of investigation at the Center is immunotherapy, a specialized field of study focused on triggering the immune system to fight cancer. Visit www.providence.org/cancer.