Scancell Holdings PLC, a developer of novel immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer, and Cancer Research UK, the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research, are pleased to announce that they have entered into a Clinical Development Partnership to develop Scancell’s ImmunoBody® vaccine, SCIB2, for the treatment of patients with solid tumours, including non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Scancell’s ImmunoBody® immunotherapy platform activates the body’s immune system by enhancing the uptake and presentation of cancer antigens to help target and eliminate cancer cells. SCIB2, Scancell’s second ImmunoBody® therapy, targets an antigen called NY-ESO-1, which is expressed on a range of solid tumours, including NSCLC and oesophageal, ovarian, bladder and prostate cancers, as well as neuroblastoma, melanoma and sarcoma.
Under the terms of the Clinical Development Partnership, Cancer Research UK will fund and sponsor a UK-based Phase 1/2 clinical trial of SCIB2 in combination with a checkpoint inhibitor in patients with solid tumours, focusing on NSCLC in the first instance. The charity’s Centre for Drug Development (CDD) will be responsible for manufacturing the clinical trial supplies of SCIB2, conducting pre-clinical testing, sponsoring and managing the clinical trial, including the clinical trial timelines.
Following completion of the Phase 1/2 clinical trial, Scancell will have the option to acquire the rights to the data to support further development of SCIB2 itself. If Scancell elects not to exercise the option, Cancer Research UK will retain the right to take the SCIB2 programme forward in all indications.
Professor Lindy Durrant, Chief Scientific Officer of Scancell, commented: “We are delighted to announce this partnership with Cancer Research UK, which is a significant endorsement for our ImmunoBody® technology. The charity’s world-renowned expertise will no doubt be invaluable as we progress SCIB2 through the clinic. In pre-clinical studies, we have shown that a combination of SCIB2 and checkpoint inhibition produces enhanced tumour destruction and significantly longer survival times than when either treatment was used alone. We believe SCIB2 has the potential to provide a much needed treatment option for patients suffering from a range of common solid tumours.”
Dr Nigel Blackburn, Cancer Research UK’s director of drug development, said: “We’re excited to be giving our extensive expertise and experience in drug development to move this immunotherapy treatment into the clinic.
“This collaboration will ensure that this innovative vaccine reaches patients sooner and could bring about urgently needed improvements for some cancers which can be hard to treat, including lung cancer – a disease where survival rates remain stubbornly low.”