|Chemical and physical data|
|Molar mass||146382.47 g·mol−1|
|(what is this?)|
Tremelimumab (formerly ticilimumab, CP-675,206) is a fully human monoclonal antibody against CTLA-4. It is an immune checkpoint blocker. Previously in development by Pfizer, it is now in investigation by MedImmune, a wholly owned subsidiary of AstraZeneca. It has been undergoing human trials for the treatment of various cancers but has not attained approval for any.
Mechanism of action
Tremelimumab aims to stimulate an immune system attack on tumors. Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) can recognize and destroy cancer cells. However, there is also an inhibitory mechanism (immune checkpoint) that interrupts this destruction. Tremelimumab turns off this inhibitory mechanism and allows CTLs to continue to destroy the cancer cells. This is immune checkpoint blockade.
Tremelimumab binds to the protein CTLA-4, which is expressed on the surface of activated T lymphocytes and inhibits the killing of cancer cells. Tremelimumab blocks the binding of the antigen-presenting cell ligands B7.1 and B7.2 to CTLA-4, resulting in inhibition of B7-CTLA-4-mediated downregulation of T-cell activation; subsequently, B7.1 or B7.2 may interact with another T-cell surface receptor protein, CD28, resulting in a B7-CD28-mediated T-cell activation unopposed by B7-CTLA-4-mediated inhibition.
Phase 1 and 2 clinical studies in metastatic melanoma showed some responses. However, based on early interim analysis of phase III data, Pfizer designated tremelimumab as a failure and terminated the trial in April 2008.
However, within a year, the survival curves showed separation of the treatment and control groups. The conventional Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) may underrepresent the merits of immunotherapies. Subsequent immunotherapy trials (e.g. ipilimumab) have used the Immune-Related Response Criteria (irRC) instead.
Although it was designated in April 2015 as orphan drug status in mesothelioma, tremelimumab failed to improve lifespan in the phase IIb DETERMINE trial, which assessed the drug as a second or third-line treatment for unresectable malignant mesothelioma.
Non-small cell lung cancer
In a phase III trial, AstraZeneca paired tremelimumab with a PD-L1 inhibitor, durvalumab, for the first-line treatment of non-small cell lung cancer. The trial was conducted across 17 countries, and in July 2017, AstraZeneca announced that it had failed to meet its primary endpoint of progression-free survival.
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- FDA Grants AstraZeneca's Tremelimumab Orphan Drug Status for Mesothelioma 
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- AZ' tremelimumab fails in mesothelioma trial
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- "AstraZeneca reports initial results from the ongoing MYSTIC trial in Stage IV lung cancer".