Scancell Holdings Plc, (AIM: SCLP), the developer of therapeutic cancer vaccines, is pleased to announce that the first group of patients receiving the lowest dose of SCIB1 (its DNA ImmunoBody® vaccine being developed for the treatment of melanoma) in the Phase I clinical trial has been evaluated by the Cohort Review Committee.
Following review of the safety data from the first three patients after three treatments, the Cohort Review Committee has approved escalation of the dose and recruitment of the next group of patients as planned.
The trial, which commenced in June 2010, is designed to evaluate the safety and tolerability of SCIB1 in patients with late stage melanoma and also to gather data on the effects of SCIB1 on tumour growth and cellular immune response.
Professor Lindy Durrant, CEO of Scancell Holdings and Professor of Cancer Immunotherapy at Nottingham University, commented: “We are pleased that the Cohort Review Committee has given us the go-ahead to escalate the dose of SCIB1. This initial data, combined with the recent recruitment of a fourth trial centre at Leeds and the approval by GTAC and MHRA for recruitment of earlier stage patients is a very encouraging development. There remains a pressing need for safe new treatments for this devastating disease and these developments have allowed us to make further progress towards this goal.”
Scancell Holdings Plc
Professor Lindy Durrant
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Kirsty Corcoran/Adam Reynolds
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Zeus Capital - Nominated Adviser/Joint Broker
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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 is being developed for the treatment of melanoma and has recently entered clinical trials.
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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