Scancell’s focus is to develop innovative immunotherapies for cancer using novel immunogenic antigens and modulation mechanisms that stimulate potent anti-tumour responses. The unique modes of action of the ImmunoBody® and Moditope® based products stimulate immune responses by presenting cancer antigens that trigger the activation of tumour-destroying T cells. However, in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Scancell is employing its expertise and resources to help in the global response.
Based on the ImmunoBody® platform, SCIB1 targets melanoma antigens and a Phase 1/2 trial in advanced patients has successfully been completed, showing the regression of tumours and enhanced survival of patients with low tumour burden. The next stage of clinical development for SCIB1 is to determine whether treatment of metastatic melanoma patients also receiving Keytruda® (pembrolizumab) results in an improvement in their overall response rate and survival.
The second ImmunoBody® product is SCIB2, which is the subject of a co-development programme with Cancer Research UK focusing on non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Modi-1 is the first Moditope® vaccine and includes citrullinated peptides derived from the cytoskeletal protein vimentin and the glycolytic enzyme, α-enolase. Preclinical studies are underway prior to initiation of the first-in-human Phase 1/2 study to evaluate safety and efficacy in patients with advanced solid tumours, such as head & neck, triple negative breast, ovarian and renal cancers.
Modi-2 broadens the Moditope® platform to include a second stress-induced post-translational modification (siPTM), homocitrullination. Characterisation of lead homocitrullinated antigens will precede selection of specific peptides for inclusion in the Modi-2 clinical product.
In addition, the Moditope® antigens are the basis of a collaboration with BioNTech (Mainz, Germany) to clone and characterise T cell receptors against Modi-1 specific epitopes.
Scancell’s acquisition of a technology platform to produce high affinity, direct killing, anti-glycan monoclonal antibodies (AvidiMab™), offers a new opportunity for collaboration and commercial transactions with antibody engineering companies looking for differentiated therapeutic targets.
In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Scancell has initiated a research programme to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 in collaboration with scientists in the newly established Centre for Research on Global Virus Infections and the new Biodiscovery Institute at the University of Nottingham, and Nottingham Trent University.