British Biotech Raises £8.7M for White Blood Cell-Activating Cancer Vaccines

Scancell has raised £8.7M (€10M) in a public offering, which will be used to advance the clinical development of its cancer vaccine portfolio.

Scancell has raised substantial funding on the AIM section of the London Stock Exchange to advance the clinical development of its portfolio of cancer vaccines. The funding will be used to start a Phase II checkpoint inhibitor combination study of Scancell’s lead cancer vaccine candidate, SCIB1, in late-stage melanoma. Earlier this year, the company showed SCIB1 improved the five-year survival of patients with advanced melanoma in an ongoing Phase I/II trial.

Additionally, the funding will support the company’s collaboration with Cancer Research UK to develop a second vaccine, SCIB2, for non-small cell lung carcinoma. Scancell also plans to start the first-in-human study of its Modi-1 cancer vaccine, part of the Moditope platform, in breast cancer, ovarian cancer and sarcoma in the first half of 2019.


Unlike most vaccines, SCIB1 and SCIB2 introduce a plasmid with antibody-encoding DNA into a patients cells, which eventually leads to white blood cell activation. The company’s Moditope platform uses modified peptide epitopes to activate white blood cells, which then attack cancer cells that are usually hidden from the immune system.

Earlier this year, Scancell and BioNTech joined forces to combat cancer by combining the Moditope technology with BioNTech’s high-throughput platform for cloning and characterizing white blood cell receptors. The funding will support the partnership’s goal of identifying white blood cell receptors that are specific to Scancell’s Moditope platform.

Cancer vaccines are not always easy to develop. For example, Bavarian Nordic terminated a Phase III study for its cancer vaccine Prostvac last year after results showed it was not successful as a monotherapy. By developing vaccines with checkpoint inhibitors, Scancell may experience more success in clinical trials.

Images by EsHanPhot/Shutterstock

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