This week we made it all the way to Nottingham, UK, which is home to the biotech company Scancell. This company is developing innovative cancer vaccines that stimulate the T cells of our immune system to fight of cancers.
Mission: Scancell has developed a new type of cancer vaccine, which is based on a DNA plasmid. The plasmid encodes a human antibody that has been engineered to express tumor antigens to boost T cell recognition. At the same time, the antibody is able to efficiently activate dendritic cells – the key players for T cell activation.
Comment: Scancell just successfully completed a phase I/II trial with their lead candidate SCIB1 for the treatment of melanoma. Now they announced a new collaboration with the Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute (ALCMI) and Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) to advance their second vaccine SCIB2 into the clinic as quick as possible. SCIB2 will be tested in patients with non-small cell lung cancer starting in 2018. According to Scancell, the new deal should allow them to complete the phase I/II trial for this candidate within 18 months.
Scancells joint CEO and CSO is the internationally recognised immunologist Lindy Durrant, another great example of women’s leadership in biotech.