Scancell collaborates with ImmuneRegen BioSciences

To investigate synergy between vaccine technologies

Scancell Holdings, a UK developer of therapeutic cancer vaccines, has agreed to collaborate with ImmuneRegen BioSciences to investigate the synergy between ImmuneRegen’s Homspera and Scancell’s ImmunoBody vaccine technologies.

Scancell‘s first vaccine using its patented ImmunoBody technology is SCIB1, a novel DNA vaccine being developed for the treatment of melanoma. An advantage of Scancell’s Immunobody platform is that it specifically targets dendritic cells (white blood cells that initiate an immune response), leading to a significant enhancement of the immune response. This immune response against TRP-2 (a melanoma protein called Tyrosinase-Related Protein 2) is expected to lead to the inhibition and regression of both primary and metastatic melanoma tumour growth. Scancell will start Phase I clinical trials for SCIB1 during Q2 2010.

ImmuneRegen’s Homspera has previously been found to improve the efficacy of a TRP2 cancer vaccine in mice, resulting in persistent and specific immune responses associated with inhibition of melanoma tumour growth. Previous studies have also demonstrated its efficacy in enhancing immune responses to infectious disease vaccines, such as influenza.

Hal Siegel, ImmuneRegen’s chief scientific officer, said: ‘We feel this is the ideal time to collaborate on this project. Ideally, we could be creating a combined product that represents the next generation of cancer vaccine technology.’

Professor Lindy Durrant, chief executive of Scancell, added: ‘Combining Scancell’s ImmunoBody technology with Homspera might offer the opportunity further to improve the therapeutic potential of SCIB1.’