What the company does
AIM-listed Scancell Holdings PLC's (LON:SCLP) primary focus is to develop innovative immunotherapies for cancer that stimulate the body’s own immune system. while as of 2020 it has also started research on a potential COVID-19 vaccine. It is working on four projects:
- ImmunoBody are DNA-based vaccines designed to generate potent T cell responses capable of a broad anti-tumour effect. There are two candidates being developed, SCIB1 and SCIB2.
- Moditope is a platform based on exploiting the normal immune responses that remove stressed cells and represents a unique class of potent vaccines that is characterised by the induction of CD4 cytotoxic T cells. Based on this technology, Scancell is working on Modi-1 and Modi-2 vaccines.
- Avidimab are anti-glycan monoclonal antibodies. Glycosylation is a modification that occurs inside the cell and results in the addition of sugar motifs, “glycans”, to proteins and lipids that are, in most cases, destined for the cell surface. It is increasingly recognised as a modulator of the malignant phenotype of cancer cells, where the interaction between cells and the tumour micro-environment is altered to facilitate processes such as drug resistance and metastasis.
- Research for a COVID-19 vaccine based on Scancell's proven cancer vaccine concept. It is part of a collaboration with scientists in the newly established Centre for Research on Global Virus Infections and the new Biodiscovery Institute at the University of Nottingham, and Nottingham Trent University, while Cobra Biologics agreed to manufacture the plasmid DNA needed to generate the inoculation against the virus.
How it is doing
In October Scancell raised £30mln to fund the further development of its candidates. US specialist healthcare investor Redmile Group subscribed for £12.1mln of new equity at 13p, as well as issuing £17.9mln of loan notes that can be converted into shares at the same price.
Scancell said the new financial backing will allow it to “extend the utility” of the company's ImmunoBody, Moditope and AvidiMab/TaG antibody products and platforms to “accelerate and broaden its development pipeline of new potential novel therapies”.
In August the drug developer said it expected to receive around £2mln of the sum awarded by Innovate UK, which should underwrite the majority of the costs of the phase I trial, which gets underway next year.
What the boss says: Cliff Holloway, chief executive
“The board believes that broadening and deepening the company's development pipeline will add significant value to the business and the proceeds of the capital raise will be transformative in our ability to achieve these goals."