Scancell Holdings Plc, (PLUS:SCLP), the developer of therapeutic cancer vaccines, today announces a strategic collaboration with ImmuneRegen BioSciences, Inc.® (‘ImmuneRegen’), a wholly owned subsidiary of IR BioSciences Holdings, Inc. (OTC BB:IRBS.OB). Under the agreement, Scancell and ImmuneRegen will work together to investigate the synergy between ImmuneRegen’s Homspera® and Scancell’s ImmunoBody® vaccine technologies.
Scancell‘s first vaccine using its patented ImmunoBody® technology is SCIB1, a novel DNA vaccine being developed for the treatment of melanoma. An advantage of Scancell’s Immunobody® platform is that it specifically targets dendritic* cells, leading to a significant enhancement of the immune response. This enhanced immune response against TRP-2 (a melanoma protein called Tyrosinase-Related Protein 2) is expected to lead to the inhibition and regression of both primary and metastatic melanoma tumor growth. Scancell is on track to commence its Phase I clinical trials for SCIB1 during Q2 2010.
ImmuneRegen’s Homspera® has previously been found to improve the efficacy of a TRP2 cancer vaccine in mice, resulting in persistent and specific immune responses associated with inhibition of melanoma tumor growth. Additionally, previous studies have demonstrated efficacy of Homspera® in enhancing immune responses to infectious disease vaccines, such as influenza.
Hal Siegel Ph.D., ImmuneRegen’s Chief Scientific Officer, commented:
“We are excited to be commencing this relationship with Scancell. As ImmuneRegen and Scancell move towards the clinic independently, we feel this is the ideal time to collaborate on this project, with the goal of evaluating the combination of Scancell’s dendritic cell targeting technology as applied to these melanoma antigens** and ImmuneRegen’s Homspera®, which has shown dendritic cell immunostimulatory activity via dendritic cell responses to TRP2 directed against melanoma tumors. Ideally, we could be creating a combined product that represents the ‘next generation’ of cancer vaccine technology.”
Professor Lindy Durrant, Chief Executive Officer of Scancell, commented:
“Combining Scancell’s revolutionary ImmunoBody® technology with Homspera® might offer the opportunity to further improve the therapeutic potential of SCIB1. We are very much looking forward to collaborating with Immuneregen on this exciting project.”
* A type of white blood cell that initiates an immune response
**A molecule that is recognised by an antibody or T-cell receptor
The Directors of the issuer accept responsibility for this announcement.
For further information contact:
Professor Lindy Durrant - Scancell Holdings Plc - +44 (0)207 245 1100
John Bick/Kirsty Corcoran - Hansard Communications - +44 (0)207 245 1100, +44 (0)7872 061 007
Ross Andrews - Zeus Capital - +44 (0)161 831 1512
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 is expected to enter clinical trials in 2010.
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.
About ImmuneRegen BioSciences, Inc.
ImmuneRegen BioSciences Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of IR BioSciences Holdings, Inc. (OTC BB:IRBS.OB-News), is a development-stage biotechnology company focused on the research, development and licensing of Homspera®. Homspera is an adult stem cell active compound that in study results has been shown to regenerate and strengthen the immune system and enhance wound healing. Homspera is being developed for potential use against infectious diseases as a stand-alone or combination therapy and as a vaccine adjuvant. Additionally, Homspera is being developed for use as a therapeutic for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, an indication which ImmuneRegen has recently submitted for Orphan Drug Status. To advance its mission, the Scottsdale, Arizona based company has forged numerous study partnerships with industry and academic leaders, including Celgene Cellular Therapeutics, HemoGenix, Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute and Virion Systems. For more information, please visit www.immuneregen.com.