ImmunoBody® vaccine to be developed for the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme

Research undertaken by scientists at Nottingham Trent University and the University of Portsmouth

Scancell Holdings Plc, (AIM:SCLP), the developer of novel immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer, announces that researchers at Nottingham Trent University and the University of Portsmouth have initiated a new preclinical study aimed at developing a vaccine for the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) by utilising Scancell’s ImmunoBody® technology platform.

GBM is the most common and aggressive form of glioma and carries a very poor prognosis. Around 5,000 people are diagnosed with a primary malignant brain tumour in the UK each year and GBM accounts for just over half of them. Treatments are limited and even with intensive chemotherapy patients have an average survival time of just 14 months.

Due to the highly aggressive nature of GBM and the lack of successful curative treatments to date, there is an urgent need for novel therapeutic approaches such as immunotherapy.

By using Scancell’s ImmunoBody® technology platform, scientists at Nottingham Trent University and the University of Portsmouth are aiming to develop a vaccine that stimulates protective immune responses against tumour molecules such as ‘HAGE’ and ‘TRP2’, which are proteins that are expressed in the cancer cells of GBM patients.

The vaccine treatment will be assessed for its ability to generate strong anti-GBM tumour immunity, as well as the ability to reduce and eradicate established tumours.

The researchers will also determine whether the vaccine stimulates HAGE and/or TRP2-specific immune cells in the blood of GBM patients that are capable of recognising the GBM tumours. This will demonstrate the ability of a patient’s immune system to identify and kill the cancer cells, providing insight into the effectiveness of the treatment.

The £95,000 study is being funded by the Headcase Cancer Trust, the only UK charity which dedicates its funding solely to research which aims to find a cure for GBM brain tumours.

Professor Lindy Durrant, Chief Scientific Officer of Scancell commented:

“We are keen to collaborate on this exciting project to add HAGE to our TRP-2/gp100 vaccine to target GBM. It is an aggressive disease and we believe the high avidity T cells generated by ImmunoBody® will be needed to control its growth.”

Dr Stephanie McArdle, a scientist in the John van Geest Cancer Research Centre at Nottingham Trent University, said:

“Vaccines can be extremely powerful when correctly formulated, so we are very hopeful that combining HAGE and TRP-2/gp100 with Scancell’s ImmunoBody® technology will lead to better disease outcomes.”


For Further Information:

Dr John Chiplin, Executive Chairman Scancell Holdings Plc +1 858 900 2646
Dr Richard Goodfellow, CEO   +44 (0) 20 3727 1000
Dave Rogers (Senior Press Officer) Nottingham Trent University +44 (0) 115 848 8782
Helen Breese (Senior Press Officer)   +44 (0) 115 848 8751
Freddy Crossley (Corporate Finance) Panmure Gordon & Co +44 (0) 20 7886 2500
Maisie Atkinson (Sales)   +44 (0) 20 7886 2905
Mo Noonan/Simon Conway FTI Consulting +44 (0) 20 3727 1000

About Scancell

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.

About John van Geest Cancer Research Centre, Nottingham Trent University

Nottingham Trent University’s John van Geest Cancer Research Centre is a unique purpose-built scientific facility. Its aim is to save lives and speed recovery by improving the early diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

The centre focuses on two key approaches to the treatment of patients with cancer:

Improving the diagnosis and management of breast and prostate cancers

Developing effective vaccines and immunotherapies that will significantly improve the survival rates and quality of life for cancer sufferers

Visit the John van Geest Cancer Research Centre website to find out more about its work, or to make a donation towards its vital scientific research.