Stimulating the production of killer CD4+ T cells that destroy tumours without toxicity
Moditope® represents a completely new class of potent and selective immunotherapy agents which could have a profound effect on the way that cancer immunotherapies are developed. It acts by stimulating the production of CD4+ T cells using citrullinated tumour-associated peptide epitopes which overcome self-tolerance and destroy tumour cells. The technology overcomes the immune suppression induced by tumours themselves without the need for checkpoint blockade inhibitors, thereby allowing activated T cells to seek out and kill tumour cells that would otherwise be hidden from the immune system.
It has the potential to be used to develop multiple immunotherapeutic agents for a wide range of different cancers. A broad patent has been filed to protect this platform covering the use of multiple tumour-associated modified epitopes for the treatment of cancer.
Scancell’s Moditope® immunotherapy platform is based on exploiting the normal immune response to stressed cells, which is largely mediated by CD4+ T cells, and harnessing this mechanism to eradicate cancer cells. Scancell’s first target for Moditope® is vimentin – a major cytoskeletal protein found in mesenchymal cells. Many epithelial tumours switch from expression of cytokeratin to vimentin during metastasis in a process known as epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT); this change in phenotype enables the cell to become mobile and metastasize to new locations in the body.
Scancell has now selected two modified vimentin peptides in which the arginine residues have been substituted by citrulline to form the basis of its first Moditope® development candidate, Modi-1. The inclusion of additional modified peptides from other Moditope® target proteins into Modi-1 is currently under review. Animal studies have shown that the two vimentin peptides stimulate potent anti-tumour responses and leads to significant improvements in survival, suggesting that the Modi-1 product could have outstanding potential as a novel immunotherapy. Immune response studies with cells isolated from cancer patients have confirmed that T cell responses were stimulated by both modified vimentin peptides.
Optimisation studies have identified the adjuvant, dose and administration route for testing Modi-1 in the First in Man study. In animal studies, an aggressive tumour cell line confirmed that the two vimentin peptides eradicate tumour cells in a therapeutic, and therefore clinically relevant, setting. Remarkably, these responses were evident when tumours had reached a late stage of development.
Moditope® vaccines have the potential to treat a wide variety of cancers. Scancell is currently further evaluating the initial indications for the first clinical trial with Modi-1 in terms of clinical need and market opportunity
After buying 77.56mln new shares at a price of 5p per share, which was a slight discount to the 5.35p closing price the previous day, the Vulpes Life Sciences Fund will have a 16.67% stake in the company.
Fri, 21 Jun 2019 08:21:00
Scancell Holdings PLC (LON:SCLP) CEO Cliff Holloway caught up with Proactive London's Andrew Scott following the announcement they'd raised £3.88mln via a placing with a single new investor to help fund the progression of its lead cancer asset into clinical trials.
The Vulpes Life Sciences Fund will now have a 16.67% stake in the company when the shares are issued next Monday.
Thu, 13 Jun 2019 09:53:00
“At Vulpes we are always searching for overlooked companies that have the ability to make significant advances in medical science, with a view to supporting their development over the long term. We believe Scancell fulfil these criteria perfectly.”
Thu, 13 Jun 2019 06:31:00