Scancell develops promising new therapeutic approach to treat cancer

Scancell Cancer image

Scancell, the Oxford Science Park-based developer of novel immunotherapies to treat cancer and infectious disease is to develop a promising new therapeutic approach to treat cancer.

It will develop its GlyMab® antibodies into T cell redirecting bispecific (TCB) antibodies and take them into the clinic. TCB antibodies have dual-binding specificity which crosslinks tumour cells via their glycans with an activating receptor CD3 on T cells. This results in activation of killer T cells and tumour cell death.

The Company is currently in the preclinical research phase and expects to take this novel product into a Phase 1 clinical study in due course. The Board believes this will provide a strong validation and demonstration of value for the whole GlyMab® antibody platform.

To create TCB antibodies, Scancell will combine its proprietary GlyMab antibodies with in-licenced Fc silencing technology from Oxford-based mAbsolve. The technology from mAbsolve reduces the likelihood of toxicity caused by cytokine storms, which can be associated with clinical antibodies engaging the immune system.

Scancell will leverage its understanding of cancer immunotherapy and T cell immunology together with its strong development capabilities to bring the TCB antibodies to clinical validation.

The company is also planning to use its GlyMab platform to deliver cytotoxic drugs (ADC) or cell therapies (CAR). The Board of Scancell intends to realise the potential of these approaches fthrough strategic partnerships with third parties.

Prof Lindy Durrant, Chief Executive Officer, Scancell, said: “Over the past year we have been evaluating the optimal products for Scancell to develop through exploiting our Glymab platform. We believe we can add considerable value to the antibody portfolio by taking TCB products into the clinic, as opposed to outlicensing them at the preclinical stage. At the same time, the Board continues to evaluate opportunities to enter into revenue generating deals for our antibodies with ADC or CAR companies.”

Dr Geoff Hale, Chief Executive Officer, mAbsolve, added: “We are delighted that Scancell has selected our technology for the development of their TCB products. We are convinced that our technology is the most effective approach to inhibit unwanted immune activation associated with antibodies redirecting T cells.”

In 2020, Scancell raised £30 million from funds managed by US based specialist healthcare and life sciences investment firm Redmile Group LLC to broaden its development pipeline of new potential novel therapies and increase the funding available for the Company’s COVID-19 vaccine.

About GlyMab®

Scancell has been building a pipeline of differentiated anti-cancer monoclonal antibodies (‘mAbs’) that target sugar motifs rather than proteins. The Company currently has five novel mAbs in early-stage development and has the potential to use its unique methodology to identify many more mAbs against glycan targets in the future. All cells are covered by a dense layer of sugar structures, called glycans, which change when a normal cell turns into a cancer cell. These glycan motifs that are associated with tumour malignancies can be targeted by antibodies such as the Company’s GlyMab® portfolio.

A robust portfolio of patents and applications, as well as know-how, surround the GlyMab platform and generated drug candidates. The GlyMab technology is part of Scancell’s antibody portfolio, joining AvdiMab®, a technology that can be applied to all antibodies (regardless of the technology used to generate them), enhancing their potency and ability to directly kill tumour cells.