Scancell Holdings Plc, (PLUS:SCLP) the parent company of Scancell Limited (‘Scancell’), the developer of therapeutic cancer vaccines based on its patented ImmunoBody® platform, is pleased to announce that the current Good Manufacturing Practice (‘cGMP’) production of Scancell’s SCIB1 DNA vaccine has been successfully completed ahead of the planned clinical trials that are expected to commence on schedule in H1 2010.
SCIB1 is being developed for the treatment of melanoma. The vaccine has been developed using Scancell’s patent-protected ImmunoBody® technology platform that overcomes the current limitations of most cancer vaccines by generating the high-avidity T-cells that kill cancer cells. Melanoma kills over 1,800 people every year in the UK, with over 130,000 new cases of the disease being reported annually worldwide. Advanced melanoma currently has a very poor prognosis with late stage (stage IV) disease having a median survival of approximately 6 months.
The cGMP manufacturing was completed by AIM-Listed Cobra Biomanufacturing Plc (AIM:CBF), the international manufacturer of biopharmaceuticals. The final release of the product for SCIB1 clinical trials is anticipated mid-Q4 2009 and will be undertaken by Cobra’s in-house QP.
David Evans, Chairman of Scancell, commented:
“Cobra Biomanufacturing has done an excellent job manufacturing our SCIB1 DNA vaccine on time and on budget. This is another important step forward towards our goal of starting clinical trials with SCIB1 in the first half of 2010.”
Simon Saxby, Chief Executive of Cobra Biomanufacturing said:
”It has been a pleasure to work with Scancell on the production of their SCIB1 vaccine. The two teams have worked closely together to make this a highly successful project and we wish Scancell every success with their clinical trials. The Cobra team look forward to working with Scancell in the future.”
The Directors of the issuer accept responsibility for this announcement.
For further information contact:
Professor Lindy Durrant - Scancell Holdings Plc - +44 207 245 1100
Adam Reynolds/Vikki Krause - Hansard Group - +44 7515 922906
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 will enter clinical trials in early 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 DNA vaccine encoding 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 can effectively target dendritic cells via their Fc receptors, allowing efficient stimulation of high avidity and high frequency 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 Cobra Biomanufacturing Plc:
Cobra Biomanufacturing Plc is a leading international manufacturer of biopharmaceuticals to the lifescience industry. Founded in 1992, Cobra provides innovative manufacturing solutions to the biopharmaceutical industry covering DNA, virus, cellular therapeutics and recombinant protein products. Cobra has developed a range of unique, patented technologies, which underpin a successful revenue generating contract manufacturing business.