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"