Scancell Holdings Plc, (AIM:SCLP), the developer of novel Immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer, announces that it is suspending dosing with the current clinical trial supplies of SCIB1 with immediate effect.
Ongoing quality control analysis has revealed that the stored drug product is no longer within the original specification. In discussion with the MHRA Clinical Trials Unit, and with patient safety of primary importance, the Company has concluded that it is no longer suitable for further use, although no new side effects have emerged.
The suspension of dosing affects eight patients in the long term extension arm of the Phase 1/2 trial, SCIB1- 001 (out of the 35 patients that have been dosed), investigating SCIB1 as a monotherapy for the treatment of melanoma. All study investigators have been informed and their patients will be notified as soon as possible.
SCIB1-001 was originally started in 2010 with a prospectively planned treatment period of only six months. However, continuing encouraging results and an excellent side effect profile led to successive amendments to the clinical trial protocol to investigate increasing doses of the drug and eventually to examine a long term dosing regimen. As a result, some of the trial materials have now been stored for over 7 years.
The Company is planning to make a fresh batch of SCIB1 and has recently signed an agreement with a new GMP manufacturer. The primary reason for this is to support a new study of SCIB1 in combination with a checkpoint inhibitor, as previously announced. However, the Company also intends to make this material available to patients currently in the long term extension of SCIB1-001 who wish to continue receiving the drug. While it is expected that there will be a delay of approximately 9-12 months before the new SCIB1 material will be available for clinical use, it is anticipated that the anti-tumour response induced by SCIB1 should persist and eliminate any remaining tumour cells. Further doses of SCIB1 have been given for added protection to ensure the immune cells continue to patrol for any emerging cancer cells; subsequent administration of the new SCIB1 material should reactivate these memory immune cells to eliminate any recurring tumours.
Prof Poulam Patel, Chief Investigator for the SCIB1-001 clinical trial and Professor of Clinical Oncology at the University of Nottingham commented: “Results from the SCIB-001 trial to date have been very encouraging and SCIB1 clearly warrants further investigation as a potential treatment for melanoma.
However as patient safety is our primary concern, the deterioration of stored clinical trial material from the original specification necessarily means that dosing of SCIB1 must be suspended until new drug product becomes available.”
Dr Richard Goodfellow, CEO of Scancell added: “Patient safety has always been our primary responsibility. Although we have seen no new adverse events it is unfortunate, but nevertheless appropriate, that we suspend dosing of SCIB1 at this time while we work as quickly as possible to secure new supplies of this promising potential treatment for melanoma. Starting further efficacy studies with SCIB1 is only possible due to the results we have seen so far in the long-running SCIB1-001 study and we would again like to convey our thanks to the patients in that trial for their participation and support over the past 6 years.”
For Further Information:
|Dr John Chiplin, Executive Chairman
||Scancell Holdings Plc
||+1 858 900 2646
|Dr Richard Goodfellow, CEO
||Scancell Holdings Plc
||+44 (0) 20 3727 1000
|Freddy Crossley (Corporate Finance)
||Panmure Gordon & Co
||+44 (0) 20 7886 2500
|Maisie Atkinson (Sales)
||Panmure Gordon & Co
||+44 (0) 20 7886 2905
|Mo Noonan/Simon Conway
||+ 44 (0) 20 3727 1000
Scancell is developing novel immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer based on its ImmunoBody® and Moditope® technology platforms.
Scancell’s first ImmunoBody®, SCIB1 is being developed for the treatment of melanoma and is being evaluated in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial. Data from the trial demonstrate that SCIB1, when used as monotherapy, has a marked effect on tumour load, produces a melanoma-specific immune response and highly encouraging survival trend without serious side effects. In patients with resected disease there is increasing evidence to suggest that SCIB1 may delay or prevent disease recurrence.
Scancell’s ImmunoBody® vaccines target dendritic cells and stimulate both parts of the cellular immune system: the helper cell system where inflammation is stimulated at the tumour site and the cytotoxic Tlymphocyte or CTL response where immune system cells are primed to recognise and kill specific cells.
Pre-clinical data on a combination of SCIB1 or SCIB2 and checkpoint inhibition (blockade of the PD-1 or CTLA-4 immune checkpoint pathways) have shown enhanced tumour destruction and significantly longer
survival times than when either treatment was used alone.
Scancell has also identified and patented a series of modified epitopes that stimulate the production of killer CD4+ T cells that destroy tumours without toxicity. The Directors believe that the Moditope® platform could
play a major role in the development of safe and effective cancer immunotherapies in the future.