Scancell to conduct Phase II checkpoint inhibitor combination study with SCIB1 with leading US melanoma specialists

Harvard, MD Anderson, Memorial Sloan Kettering, University of Colorado clinical team to lead checkpoint inhibitor combination trial with SCIB1 

Aim of study will be to improve objective response to anti-PD-1 monotherapy without additional toxicity.

Scancell Holdings Plc, (AIM:SCLP), today announced formation of its core US investigator team to lead a Phase II checkpoint inhibitor combination study with Scancell’s lead cancer vaccine SCIB1. Dr Keith Flaherty, M.D., Director of the Termeer Center for Targeted Therapy at Massachusetts General Hospital and Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School has been named the Principal Investigator. Joining Dr Flaherty are Dr Jennifer Wargo of the Department of Surgical Oncology at MD Anderson, Dr Michael Davies of the Department of Melanoma Oncology at MD Anderson, Dr Paul Chapman in the Melanoma/Sarcoma Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering and Dr Rene Gonzalez of the Division of Medical Oncology at University of Colorado.

Dr Keith Flaherty, Associate Professor, Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Director of Developmental Therapeutics, Henri and Belinda Termeer Center for Targeted Therapies, Massachusetts General Hospital said: “Based on the scientific and translational research behind SCIB1, I believe there is a compelling case for further investigation in both the metastatic and adjuvant melanoma settings. Despite meaningful recent advances in the treatment of this disease there still remains a significant unmet medical need. I am very excited to be working with Scancell and my other colleagues in the investigator team to bring this innovative treatment to patients."

Dr Paul Chapman, Dept. of Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center added: “SCIB1 represents a potentially important complement to checkpoint inhibitor therapy. Despite the unquestionable clinical utility of anti-PD-1 drugs, only around 30% of patients respond to treatment. Available data supports testing the hypothesis that the use of SCIB1 in combination with these agents may increase the number of patients responding to treatment and prolong progression free survival without the additional burden of significant further side effects.”

Dr Richard Goodfellow, Joint CEO of Scancell, said: “The latest data on SCIB1, both in terms of the unprecedented survival of Stage 3/4 melanoma patients with resected disease, combined with anti-tumour responses in late stage patients and compelling animal data showing the potential value of a SCIB1/checkpoint inhibitor combination regimen sets the stage for an expanded clinical trial programme. We are delighted to have secured the help and support of such a prestigious group of US specialists, led by Dr Flaherty.”

The clinical study will assess the impact of adding SCIB1 to a checkpoint inhibitor in patients with late stage melanoma. The aim will be to improve the objective response rates of anti-PD-1 (“checkpoint inhibitor”) monotherapy without adding additional toxicity. It is expected that the trial will enrol approximately 80 Stage 3/4 metastatic melanoma patients and commence in the second half of 2016, ending around 18 months later.

For Further Information:

Dr Richard Goodfellow, Co-CEO Scancell Holdings Plc +44 (0) 20 3727 1000
Professor Lindy Durrant, Co-CEO    
Robert Naylor/Maisie Atkinson Panmure Gordon & Co +44 (0) 20 7886 2500
Mo Noonan/Simon Conway FTI Consulting +44 (0) 20 3727 1000
David Schull Russo Partners (858) 717-2310
[email protected]

Notes to Editors

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.