Scancell Holdings Plc, (AIM:SCLP), the developer of therapeutic cancer vaccines, and Cancer Research Technology Ltd (‘CRT’) - Cancer Research UK’s commercialisation and development arm today announce that they have signed an agreement under which Scancell has been granted a licence to use a human antibody known as 105AD7.
105AD7 is a human monoclonal antibody that mimics the complement regulatory protein, CD55. The antibody was discovered and originally developed at the University of Nottingham with support from Cancer Research UK and has previously been evaluated in clinical trials for osteosarcoma. The agreement will give Scancell a worldwide licence to use 105AD7 for the development of new ImmunoBody® vaccines for any immunotherapy indication. The licence will be restricted to the use of the antibody as a framework for future ImmunoBody® vaccines.
Scancell’s current ImmunoBody® vaccines, such as SCIB1, its vaccine currently in Phase I clinical trials for the treatment of melanoma, use a deimmunised* antibody as the framework. 105AD7 will allow Scancell to use a fully human framework for the development of future ImmunoBody® vaccines.
Under the terms of the agreement, Scancell will make an upfront payment to CRT in addition to development milestone payments, and royalty payments on future sales. Scancell will exclusively fund the development work, and have sub-licensing rights on agreed terms.
Professor Lindy Durrant, Chief Executive Officer of Scancell, commented:
“I am pleased that we have secured this important agreement with Cancer Research Technology. By utilising antibody 105AD7, Scancell will be able to further enhance the clinical utility and safety of Scancell’s ImmunoBody® platform both in cancer and other immunotherapy indications.”
Dr Phil L’Huillier, Cancer Research Technology’s director of business management, said:
“Through this deal with Scancell we are able to take forward this antibody arising from research from our worldclass scientists into commercial development to potentially make new vaccines to treat a range of diseases.”
*Deimmunization is a technology for location and removal of T-cell epitopes through the combined use of immunological and molecular biology techniques to reduce the immunogenicity of an antibody.
Professor Lindy Durrant Scancell Holdings Plc
John Bick/Kirsty Corcoran Hansard Communications
Ross Andrews/Tom Rowley Zeus Capital
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.
Cancer Research Technology Limited (CRT) is a specialist commercialisation and development company, which aims to develop new discoveries in cancer research for the benefit of cancer patients. CRT works closely with leading international cancer scientists and their institutes to protect intellectual property arising from their research and to establish links with commercial partners. CRT facilitates the discovery, development and marketing of new cancer therapeutics, vaccines, diagnostics and enabling technologies. CRT is wholly owned by Cancer Research UK, the largest independent funder of cancer research in the world.
CRT's discovery laboratories build on exploratory research to create attractive commercial opportunities through collaboration with research institutes worldwide. Therapeutic programmes are then out-licensed for further development following identification of a suitable partner.
For more information visit the web site www.cancertechnology.com
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