As­traZeneca’s Imfinzi/treme com­bo strikes out — again — in lung can­cer. Is it time for last rites?

As­traZeneca bet big on the fu­ture of their PD-L1 Imfinzi com­bined with the ex­per­i­men­tal CT­LA-4 drug treme­li­mum­ab. But once again it’s gone down to de­feat in a ma­jor Phase III study — while adding dam­age to the the­o­ry in­volv­ing tar­get­ing can­cer with a high tu­mor mu­ta­tion­al bur­den.

Ear­ly Wednes­day the phar­ma gi­ant an­nounced that their NEP­TUNE study had failed, with the com­bi­na­tion un­able to beat stan­dard chemo at over­all sur­vival in high TMB cas­es of ad­vanced non-small cell lung can­cer. We won’t get hard da­ta un­til lat­er in the year, but the drum­beat of fail­ures will call in­to ques­tion what — if any — fu­ture this com­bi­na­tion can have left.

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