Scancell losses widen as cancer vaccine development makes progress
(ShareCast News) - Cancer-focused biotech Scancell Holdings reported a larger full year loss as it made progress with the development of its SCIB1 vaccine for the treatment of melanoma.
The AIM-listed company spent £2.8m on clinical development versus £2m a year earlier, with admin costs up to £1.8m from £1m.
Pre-tax losses grew to £4.5m from £3m, though a larger tax credit meant the loss for year of £3.5m for 2017 was up from £2.6m in 2016.
There was £2.7m cash in the bank at the end of April but since then the company has raised £4.7m to begin clinical development of its lead Modi-1 product from the Moditop platform and to continue to support the ImmunoBody platform pipeline.
Perhaps the main development during the year was strong survival data for patients with Stage III/IV malignant melanoma treaded under the SCIB1 Phase 1/2 clinical trial, with 18 out of 20 patients still alive, which is well beyond established norms.
Seven of 16 resected patients have survived for five years since starting treatment, though six have seen a recurrence of the disease, of whom two have died.
The Nottingham-based company plans to make an investigational new drug application to the Food & Drug Administration for a SCIB1 checkpoint inhibitor combination study to be carried out in the US.
The IND is expected to be submitted in early 2018 after a delay due to the FDA requesting Ichor, from which Scancell has licensed electroporation technology, to provide data on its second generation device.
Further down the pipeline, John Chiplin said "substantial progress" had been made on Modi-1 in stimulating potent cancer killing T cells at up to 100-fold lower doses than could be achieved previously.
"The company is currently undertaking process development work on the manufacture of Modi-1 conjugated to the adjuvant with the aim of filing a Clinical Trial Application in the UK for the planned Phase 1/2 clinical trial in 2018."
Chiplin also said there had been "substantial interest" in the SCIB2 vaccine product for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
"We have already announced a collaboration partnership with the Addario Foundation and we are actively negotiating with other interested parties on development and commercial partnership opportunities."
Shares in Scancell were down 4% to 13.33p by 0900 BST on Wednesday.