Scancell Holdings Plc, (AIM: SCLP), the developer of therapeutic cancer vaccines, is pleased to announce that it has received confirmation from Cephalon, Inc that the condition relating to the second tranche payment from the sale of Scancell’s antibody portfolio to Arana Therapeutics in 2006 has now been satisfied. Scancell is therefore due to receive a further sum of £2.85 million (before any related tax and other costs are deducted) on 16 November 2011.
On 1 December 2006, Scancell sold its portfolio of antibodies to Arana Therapeutics (then known as Peptech (UK) Limited and subsequently acquired by Cephalon, Inc, which itself is now owned by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited). The consideration for the sale was a cash payment of £2 million, which was paid on completion of the sale, plus a possible further sum of £2.85 million gross which was payable when a milestone was achieved relating to the development of a drug derived from any of the antibodies which were the subject of the sale.
Scancell has received confirmation from Cephalon, Inc that this milestone has been achieved and the condition for payment of the further sum of £2.85 million has therefore been satisfied.
The receipt of the second tranche payment is expected to trigger a payment to advisers of the Company and, under an executive incentivisation package agreed by the Board in June 2006, Professor Lindy Durrant, Dr Richard Goodfellow and Nigel Evans are entitled to receive gross bonuses calculated as a percentage of the net payment received by the Company. The total of these payments is not expected to exceed £450,000.
The £2.85 million gross proceeds from the second tranche payment will therefore be reduced by the payment of bonuses and adviser costs as noted above and does not take into account any corporation tax that may arise.
David Evans, Chairman of Scancell, said: "The confirmation that Scancell will receive the second tranche payment of £2.85 million from Arana Therapeutics is excellent news for the Company. We expect that the net funds to be received will enable the Company to complete the Phase I and Phase II clinical trials of our lead melanoma vaccine, SCIB1, without the need to raise further funds from Shareholders."
Scancell Holdings Plc
Dr Richard Goodfellow / Professor Lindy Durrant
+44 (0)207 245 1100*
Hansard Group (Financial PR)
Adam Reynolds / Guy McDougall
+44 (0)207 245 1100
Zeus Capital - Nominated Adviser/Joint Broker
Ross Andrews / Tom Rowley
+44 (0)161 831 1512
XCAP - Joint Broker
John Belliss / Adrian Kirk
+44 (0) 207 101 7070
*this number will direct callers to Hansard Group, at Scancell's instruction.
Scancell is developing novel therapeutic vaccines for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases based on its groundbreaking ImmunoBody® technology platform. Scancell’s first cancer vaccine SCIB1, which entered clinical trials in 2010, is being developed for the treatment of melanoma.
Treating cancer by vaccination allows small non-toxic doses of a vaccine to be administered to a patient, stimulating an immune response. Effective cancer vaccines need to target dendritic cells to stimulate both parts of the cellular immune system; the helper cell system where inflammation is stimulated at the tumour site; and the cytotoxic T-lymphocyte or CTL response where immune system cells are primed to recognise and kill specific cells.
A limitation of many cancer vaccines currently in development is that they cannot specifically target dendritic cells in vivo. Several groups have demonstrated successful vaccination by growing dendritic cells ex vivo, pulsing them with tumour antigens and re-infusing them. However, this procedure is patient specific, time consuming and expensive. Scancell has developed its breakthrough patent protected ImmunoBody® technology to overcome these limitations.
An ImmunoBody® is a human antibody or fusion protein engineered to express helper cell and CTL epitopes from tumour antigens over-expressed by cancer cells. Antibodies are ideal vectors for carrying T cell epitopes from tumour antigens as they have long half-lives and can effectively target dendritic cells via their Fc receptors, allowing efficient stimulation of both helper and CTL responses.
The Immunobody® technology can be adapted to provide the basis for treating any tumour type and may also be of potential utility in the development of vaccines against hepatitis, HIV and other chronic infectious diseases.
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