Posts in Category: News

Scancell Signs New Agreement with Biovation to DeImmunise SC101

Nottingham UK – January 11th 2005 - Scancell Ltd, the Nottingham-based cancer therapeutics company, has announced that it has secured an agreement with Biovation under which Biovation will apply their DeImmunisation technology to up to two further monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) in Scancell’s portfolio, including SC101, Scancell’s anti-cancer MAb against Lewisy/b.

Lewisy/b is a cell surface carbohydrate blood group antigen whose expression is very low in normal tissue but over-expressed on breast, lung, colon and ovarian cancer cells. Mouse antibodies recognising Lewisy/b have induced tumour cell death and inhibited growth of various tumour lines. In animal studies, tumour growth was inhibited by anti-Lewisy/b antibodies alone, and especially when combined with 5-fluorouracil, an antimetabolite that disrupts cancer cell growth.

The DeImmunisationTM technology identifies and removes T-cell epitopes from the therapeutic antibody, which substantially reduces its immunogenicity. Since potentially immunogenic regions of the antibody are removed by single amino acid substitutions, immunogenicity can be eliminated while retaining the biological properties of the starting molecule.

Commenting on the agreement, Professor Lindy Durrant, CSO of Scancell, said: "We are very pleased to be working with Biovation once again. This agreement offers Scancell the opportunity to DeImmunise a further two antibody therapeutics, a vital step in preparing these products for clinical trials."

Dr. Frank Carr, President and Chief Executive Officer at Biovation, commented: "We are delighted to be working with and supporting Scancell in their efforts to develop exciting and innovative anti-cancer therapeutics for the clinic"

Scancell Secures Exclusive Worldwide Licence Agreement

Nottingham, UK – 25th May 2004 – Scancell Ltd, the Nottingham, UK based cancer therapeutics company, has announced that it has secured an agreement with Cancer Research Technology Limited (CRT) under which Scancell has been granted an exclusive worldwide licence to develop and commercialise two cancer vaccines against Tie-2 and CD55 protein targets for the treatment of solid tumours.

Tie-2 and CD55 offer highly promising approaches to the development of novel vaccines using Scancell's ImmunoBody™ technology. Tie-2 is over-expressed on tumour vasculature. Therapeutic vaccines targeting blood vessels can cause vascular collapse and starvation of large tumour areas. CD55 is over-expressed by tumours to protect them from immune attack. A therapeutic vaccine targeting CD55 may therefore destroy tumour cells over-expressing CD55 leaving any remaining cells susceptible to immune clearance through endogenous complement lysis. A combination of both vaccines may lead to dramatic tumour regression by harnessing the body's immune system to 'reject' the tumour.

Commenting on the agreement, Professor Lindy Durrant, CSO of Scancell, said: "We are very pleased that CRT has selected Scancell to develop and commercialise these extremely promising products. This agreement offers Scancell the opportunity to develop two new ImmunoBody™ vaccines for the treatment of solid tumours. The collaboration with CRT is a further example of how we intend to accelerate the development of the ImmunoBody™ programme through partnerships over the next few years."

Dr. Keith Blundy, Chief Operating Officer at CRT, said: "Scancell is well positioned to develop the CD55 and Tie-2 vaccines and we anticipate that this deal will enable cancer patients to benefit from this exciting technology in the future."

Scancell's ImmunoBody® approach involves engineering a human antibody to express epitopes from tumour antigens over-expressed by commercially important solid tumours - in this case Tie-2 and CD55. ImmunoBody™ vaccines efficiently target the dendritic cells in vivo to stimulate effective immunity. They offer the potential to develop more effective vaccines against both cancer and infectious diseases.

Scancell Appoints Dr Michael Capaldi as CEO

Nottingham, UK – 21st April 2004 – Scancell Ltd, the pioneering Nottingham-based therapeutics company that is harnessing the power of the immune system to fight cancer, has announced the appointment of Dr Michael Capaldi as Chief Executive Officer. Dr Capaldi brings to Scancell extensive commercial and management experience in the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries, together with a strong scientific background.

Commenting on his new position, Dr Capaldi said:

“Scancell is at an exciting stage of development and I look forward to contributing to the future success of the Company. I am convinced that Scancell can make a major contribution towards developing new cancer therapies that harness the power of the immune system.”

Dr Capaldi was previously CEO of Synaptica Ltd where he served from 2000. He has a broad working knowledge of the biopharmaceutical industry with a strong commercial bias, combined with a solid understanding of pharmaceutical discovery and development. He has first hand experience of raising capital from private and public markets to fund early stage biotechnology companies including an IPO of Core Group as a full listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in 1997. He has over 20 years experience in the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry within the UK, Europe and the USA, including over 17 years commercial and general management experience gained with SmithKline Beecham plc, Amersham plc, Core Group plc, Oxford Asymmetry plc and Synaptica Ltd. Prior to this he gained five years multidisciplinary research experience in academic and applied pharmaceutical research and management with Ciba-Geigy.

Michael holds a PhD in Medical Biophysics from the University of Manchester, and has experience of both academic and applied pharmaceutical research. Welcoming Dr Capaldi to the Company, Chairman Nigel Evans said: “Michael brings significant management, commercial and fund raising experience to Scancell, which will be invaluable as the Company commercialises its therapeutic antibodies and it’s ImmunoBody® technology. Monoclonal antibody technology promises considerable hope for the treatment and prevention of cancer.”

Scancell, Onyvax and CRT Announce Agreement to Facilitate the Development of "ImmunoBody"

Nottingham and London, UK – 12th December 2003 – Scancell Ltd., Onyvax Limited and Cancer Research Technology Limited (CRT), today announced an agreement enabling Scancell to develop and commercialise its proprietary ImmunoBody cancer vaccine technology. Under the terms of the agreement Onyvax, one of the world's leading cancer vaccine companies, will also have a non-exclusive licence to develop the technology.

The ImmunoBody Approach

Cancer vaccines represent a highly attractive approach for cancer therapy as, in contrast to current treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy, small non-toxic doses of a vaccine may be administered to a patient to stimulate an immune response. It is generally accepted that to be effective against cancer, a vaccine needs to target dendritic cells to stimulate both parts of the cellular immune system, the helper cell system (known as the CD4-mediated response) which stimulates inflammation at the tumour site, and the cytotoxic T-lymphocyte or CTL response (known as the CD8-mediated response) in which cells of the immune system 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's ImmunoBody approach involves engineering a human antibody to express helper cell and CTL epitopes from tumour antigens over-expressed by commercially important solid tumours. These ImmunoBodies efficiently target dendritic cells in vivo via the CD64 receptor to stimulate effective immunity. They offer the potential to develop more effective vaccines against both cancer and infectious diseases.

Commenting on the agreement, Professor Lindy Durrant, CEO of Scancell, said: "We are very pleased to have reached agreement with CRT and Onyvax on the ImmunoBody programme. This platform offers Scancell the opportunity to develop new cancer vaccines on its own behalf and in partnership with others. The collaboration with Onyvax is the first exciting example of how we intend to accelerate the development of the ImmunoBody programme through partnerships over the next few years."

Dr Anthony Walker, CEO of Onyvax, commented: "Scancell's ImmunoBody technology is potentially a breakthrough in cancer vaccine design, offering the opportunity to develop more effective vaccines against this disease."

Dr Keith Blundy, Director of Business Management at CRT, said: "We are very pleased that Scancell and Onyvax will be undertaking further development of the ImmunoBody technology and hope that the programme will lead to new therapeutic options for cancer patients."

Scancell and Celltech Announce that they will Collaborate on the Development of Novel Monoclonal

Nottingham, UK – 5th August 2003 – Scancell Ltd., a privately held biotechnology company, and Celltech Group plc announced today that they will collaborate on the development of novel monoclonal antibody therapeutics to Lewisy/b, a promising new cancer target. Under the terms of the agreement, Scancell has granted Celltech the right to evaluate Scancell’s SC101 antibody family and Celltech has acquired an option to an exclusive world-wide licence to any products developed during the collaboration.

Lewisy/b is a cell surface carbohydrate blood group antigen whose expression is very low in normal tissue but over-expressed on breast, lung, colon and ovarian cancer cells. Mouse antibodies recognising Lewisy/b have induced tumour cell death and inhibited growth of various tumour lines. In animal studies, tumour growth was inhibited by anti-Lewisy/b antibodies alone, and especially when combined with 5-fluorouracil.

Dr Melanie Lee, Director of Research and Development of Celltech, commented: "Scancell have generated interesting preclinical data highlighting the potential for SC101 antibodies as cancer fighting drugs. Celltech will explore a range of therapeutic options against the Lewisy/b antigen, particularly the use of its novel antibody fragment platform."

"We are immensely pleased to have signed this agreement with Celltech", said Prof Lindy Durrant, CEO of Scancell. "The collaboration with Celltech, an acknowledged leader in the field of antibody drug development, is an important landmark in Scancell’s development and will offer a great opportunity to fast-track SC101 into the clinic."

Scancell’s expertise lies in the discovery and development of monoclonal antibodies and vaccines for the treatment of cancer. Scancell has identified a large number of novel antigens as potential targets for drug development. Monoclonal antibodies recognising these targets directly induce tumour cell apoptosis and synergise with chemotherapy, thereby reducing toxicity and increasing therapeutic efficacy. Scancell has also developed ImmunoBodies as a platform technology to overcome the present limitations of cancer vaccines. For more information about Scancell visit www.scancell.co.uk

Celltech Group plc (LSE: CCH; NYSE: CLL) is one of Europe's largest biotechnology companies, with an extensive development pipeline and a profitable, cash-generative pharmaceutical business. Celltech also possesses drug discovery capabilities of exceptional strength, including a leading position in antibody engineering. More details can be found at www.celltechgroup.com.

Scancell and Isu Chemical Announce Collaboration and Licensing Agreement for Scancell's Antibody

Scancell and Isu Chemical Announce Collaboration and Licensing Agreement for Scancell's Antibody Cancer Drug SC100 in the Far East

Nottingham, UK – 4th February 2002 – Scancell Ltd today announced a collaboration and licensing agreement with Korean based ISU Chemical Co Ltd on its DeImmunised anti-Epidermal Growth Factor receptor (EGFr) antibody SC100. Under the terms of the agreement ISU Chemical will develop and market SC100 in Korea and other territories in the Far East. ISU will pay for the development and commercialisation of SC100 in the territory. Scancell will receive royalties on the sale of SC100 and access to all data generated by ISU for use in the development of SC100 in Europe and the US.

In addition ISU Chemical will invest $1 million in Scancell.

"Scancell is very pleased to have signed this deal with ISU on SC100" said Dr Richard Goodfellow, Commercial Director at Scancell. " Korea is rapidly establishing itself as a major player in biotechnology and ISU is at the forefront of this research. The deal with ISU will accelerate the development of SC100 and bring forward the time at which the product can enter clinical trials."

"ISU is delighted to have strengthened its antibody therapeutic development portfolio by signing this deal with Scancell", said Dr Chang Hoon Choi, Managing Director of ISU's Biotech Unit. "We believe that Scancell's expertise in the discovery of novel antigens and development of early-stage immunotherapeutics, and in particular monoclonal antibodies, will be strongly complementary to ISU's strengths in antibody production technology. We expect this initial agreement to be just the start of a successful long-term partnership between the two companies."

Scancell's expertise lies in the discovery and development of monoclonal antibodies and vaccines for the treatment of cancer. SC100 is a unique epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFr) blocking antibody which has been developed for the treatment of any cancer in which the EGFr is upregulated, including lung, colorectal, breast and head and neck cancer. SC100 has been DeImmunised to ensure minimal immunogenicity in patients. Scancell has also identified a large number of novel antigens as potential targets for drug development. Monoclonal antibodies recognising these targets directly induce tumour cell apoptosis and synergise with chemotherapy, thereby reducing toxicity and increasing therapeutic efficacy. Scancell has also developed ImmunoBodies as a platform technology to overcome the present limitations of cancer vaccines. Scancell has previously announced an alliance with Genmab A/S to develop and commercialise human antibody therapeutics against Scancell's novel targets. For more information about Scancell visit www.scancell.co.uk

ISU Chemical is a Korean petrochemical company manufacturing a wide range of chemicals, from detergent based to synthetic pharmaceutical intermediates. Since April 2000, ISU has actively sought new business and R&D opportunities in the areas of human therapeutic antibody development and novel drug target discovery through strategic partnerships with innovative biotechnology companies and research organisations throughout the world. ISU's current development portfolio includes a humanized therapeutic monoclonal antibody to an undisclosed target molecule and a recombinant human protein for adjuvant use during chemotherapy. ISU is also undertaking research on novel drug targets for cancer and chronic diseases using antibody proteomics and functional genomics tools, both at its headquarters in Seoul, Korea and at its US biotechnology R&D Centre in Rockville, MD, USA.

Genmab and Scancell Announce Cancer Antibody Product Collaboration — First Disease Target Identified

Copenhagen, Denmark and Nottingham, UK – October 9, 2001 – Genmab A/S (CSE: GEN and Neuer Markt: GE9D) and Scancell, Ltd., a privately held biotechnology company, announced today that they will collaborate to create and develop fully human antibodies to cancer targets identified by Scancell. The first antibody product will target Lewisy/b, a target that is over-expressed on breast, lung, colon and ovarian cancers. Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will share equally in the development costs and commercial rights of antibody products they co-develop.

Genmab and Scancell will immediately begin the creation and development of a fully human antibody against Lewisy/b.

Lewisy/b is a promising cancer target on the basis of extensive pre-clinical studies conducted by Scancell and other scientists. Mouse antibodies recognizing the combined Lewisy/b antigen have induced tumor cell death and inhibited growth of various tumor cell lines. A synergistic effect on tumor cell death was seen with conventional chemotherapeutics like cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil. In animal studies, tumor growth was inhibited by anti-Lewisy/b antibodies alone, or in combination with 5-fluorouracil.

It is anticipated that a fully human anti-Lewisy/b antibody will show effect as an anti-tumor mono-therapeutic agent, and may synergize with chemotherapy or radiotherapy. It could also be used to target drugs, toxins or radio-isotopes to tumors.

"The Scancell partnership is off to a great start, with the plans for the new Lewisy/b antibody," said Lisa N. Drakeman, Ph. D., Chief Executive Officer of Genmab. "I am very pleased to be working with Scancell and look forward to a very productive relationship."

"We are delighted to have forged this important alliance with Genmab." said Lindy Durrant PhD, Chief Executive Officer of Scancell. "The combination of Scancell's Cancer Target Discovery Programme with Genmab's Human Monoclonal Antibody Technology offers exciting opportunities to fast-track antibody therapeutics into the clinic."

Genmab A/S is a biotechnology company that creates and develops fully human antibodies for the treatment of life-threatening and debilitating diseases. Genmab has multiple products in development to treat cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions, and intends to assemble a broad portfolio of new therapeutic products arising from research into the human genome. At present, Genmab's commercial opportunities are based upon research conducted at leading international companies, including Roche, Immunex Corporation, Oxford GlycoSciences Ltd., Sequenom, Inc., Eos Biotechnology Inc., Medarex Inc., deCode Genetics and Glaucus Proteomics B.V., as well as in its own laboratories. A broad alliance provides Genmab with access to Medarex Inc.'array of proprietary technologies, including the UltiMAb™ platform, for the rapid creation and development of fully human antibodies to virtually any disease target. For more information about Genmab, visit www.genmab.com.

Scancell's expertise lies in the discovery and development of monoclonal antibodies and vaccines for the treatment of cancer. Scancell has identified a large number of novel antigens as potential targets for drug development. Monoclonal antibodies recognising these targets directly induce tumour cell apoptosis and synergise with chemotherapy, thereby reducing toxicity and increasing therapeutic efficacy. Scancell has also developed ImmunoBodies as a platform technology to overcome the present limitations of cancer vaccines. For more information about Scancell visit www.scancell.co.uk