Scancell develops new vaccine for the treatment of lung cancer

Scancell Holdings Plc, (AIM: SCLP), the developer of therapeutic cancer vaccines, announces that a treatment utilising a DNA vaccine based on its ImmunoBody® technology, in combination with Homspera®, an adjuvant developed by ImmuneRegen BioSciences, Inc.® has produced encouraging anti-tumour results in animal models.

The vaccine, known as SCIB2, stimulates immune responses to the lung cancer antigen NY-ESO-1 and may also have potential utility in oesophageal, liver, gastric, prostate, ovarian and bladder cancers. Unlike classical adjuvants, Homspera® did not enhance the SCIB2 systemic immune response but did make it more effective at the tumour site. This could have profound implications for cancer vaccine therapy.

Scancell is currently conducting a Phase I clinical trial utilising its SCIB1 vaccine which is being developed for the treatment of melanoma. SCIB1 is a novel DNA vaccine which is also being developed using Scancell’s patented ImmunoBody® technology. ImmunoBody® vaccines generate the high-avidity T-cells that kill cancer cells.

ImmuneRegen’s Homspera® has previously been found to synergise with SCIB1 in an animal model. Additionally, previous studies have demonstrated efficacy of Homspera® in enhancing immune responses to infectious disease vaccines, such as influenza.

Professor Lindy Durrant, Chief Executive Officer of Scancell, commented:

“These are outstanding results for Scancell and a significant milestone for the Company. The successful application of Scancell’s ImmunoBody® technology, in conjunction with Homspera®, provides further evidence that our ImmunoBody® vaccine has the potentially groundbreaking ability to augment the immune responses necessary to destroy cancer. We are delighted to be combining our efforts with ImmuneRegen and look forward to progressing our work further at this pivotal moment for Scancell. Shareholders will be kept fully updated with this significant breakthrough. In addition to this highly positive news, we have a number of other promising vaccine candidates in development, which we hope will be the subject of further announcements in due course”.

Hal Siegel Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of ImmuneRegen, commented:

“We are very pleased with our ongoing collaboration with Scancell and the results of their studies with Homspera® in conjunction with their ImmunoBody® technology. This is further evidence of the immunostimulatory activity of our compound, and also demonstrates a broader anti-tumour effect than previously reported. Furthermore, these recent studies suggest a specificity regarding the dendritic cell activity of Homspera that is both intriguing and promising. We are anticipating additional studies at Scancell will provide further insights into the activity and value of Homspera as an ImmunoBody® vaccine adjuvant for a potentially broad spectrum of therapeutic cancer treatments.”

ImmuneRegen BioSciences, Inc.® is a wholly owned subsidiary of IR BioSciences Holdings, Inc. (OTC BB:IRBS.OB)

For further information contact:

Scancell Holdings Plc
Professor Lindy Durrant
+ 44 (0)207 245 1100

Hansard Communications
Adam Reynolds/Guy McDougall
+ 44 (0)207 245 1100

Zeus Capital - Nominated Adviser
Ross Andrews/Tom Rowley
+ 44 (0)161 831 1512

XCAP Securities Plc - Broker
John Belliss/Parimal Kumar
+44 (0)207 101 7070

About Scancell

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, which entered clinical trials in 2010, is being developed for the treatment of melanoma.

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.