Scancell is focused on developing novel immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer and infectious disease and was founded in 1997 based on research led by Professor Lindy Durrant at the University of Nottingham in the UK.
Immuno-oncology is a rapidly growing market within the biopharmaceutical industry, estimated to be worth USD300 billion by the year 2030 (Cancer Immunotherapy Market Size, Industry Analysis Report 2030 (alliedmarketresearch.com). Immunotherapies are being evaluated in most cancer indications and their unrivalled efficacy and relatively low toxicity profile compared to chemotherapy is already leading to paradigm shifts in the treatment of many cancers. However, tumours often successfully evade the body’s own natural defence mechanism, the immune system, and not all patients are able to respond to checkpoint inhibitor-based immunotherapies. Therapeutic vaccines therefore have the potential to improve the proportion of patients who are able to benefit by initiating immune responses that convert unresponsive or so-called “cold” tumours, into “hot” ones. Scancell is committed to testing its therapeutic vaccines in the clinic, both as monotherapies and in combination with checkpoint inhibitors. The company’s Moditope® and ImmunoBody® platforms offer a unique approach to cancer therapy and are designed to provide increased and durable responses in patients without compromising safety, and to address the unmet needs in hard-to-treat cancers.
Scancell is also committed to using its scientific competences and know-how to help in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company is leveraging its DNA vaccine expertise within oncology to produce a next-generation vaccine aimed at creating effective and long-lasting immune responses to SARS-CoV-2. Scancell initiated its COVIDITY programme in collaboration with scientists at the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University.
Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are now considered to be a mainstay of cancer therapy, with over 30 mAbs targeting a variety of tumour types having received regulatory approval during the last three decades. Therapeutic mAbs can either target tumours directly or they can engage immune cells to enhance their efficacy, as do the checkpoint inhibitor mAbs. Antibody-mediated killing of tumours occurs through a plethora of mechanisms, including the destruction of tumour cells using immune effector cells or the complement system, receptor signalling blockade to slow cancer cell growth, targeted delivery of potent drugs (antibody-drug conjugates, ADC), redirection of T cells using bispecific antibodies or as the binding domains of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) therapies. Scancell’s GlyMab® platform can be used to produce mAbs against unique glycan targets, with each individual mAb having the potential to mediate tumour cell killing by any of the above mechanisms or formats. Additionally, the AvidiMab® platform has the potential to enhance the efficacy of any mAb, including cancer cell-targeting as well was immune cell-targeting mAbs, to enhance their tumour-specific effects.