Scancell Holdings

Validating and de-risking of multiple opportunities

15 Feb 2018 / Corporate research

Scancell is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing two distinct flexible cancer immunotherapy platforms, each with broad applications: ImmunoBody is a DNA vaccine that stimulates high-avidity anti-tumour CD8+ T-cells for use as a monotherapy or in combination with checkpoint inhibitors(CPIs); Moditope targets modified antigens and stimulates powerful anti-tumour CD4+ T-cell responses for use in advanced and hard-to-treat cancers. Both technologies have been externally validated recently through partnership deals with Cancer Research UK (CRUK; ImmunoBody SCIB2) and BioNTech (Moditope), providing significant endorsements.

  • Strategy: Scancell is developing two proprietary immuno-oncology platforms that target cancer cells directly to produce potent T-cell responses. Both technologies are highly flexible, potentially targeting many types of cancer. The initial aim is to complete proof-of-concept trials in multiple indications.
  • ImmunoBody: After exceptional five-year survival data in a proof-of-concept trial in late-stage melanoma patients and evidence of tumour rejection, Scancell will advance both SCIB1 (melanoma) and SCIB2 (with CRUK in lung cancer) in combination trials with a CPI. Headline data should start to emerge from 1H’19.
  • Moditope: This technology exploits the normal immune response to stressed cells in order to eradicate cancer cells through immunisation. The clinical lead,
    Modi-1, is expected to enter a Phase I/II proof-of-concept trial, initially in triple negative breast cancer, ovarian cancer and sarcoma in 1H calendar 2019.
  • Risks: Scancell is an early-stage drug development company carrying a high risk that a product may fail in clinical trials. Its focus on cancer immunotherapy is extremely exciting, but it is a competitive field. The novelty of its technologies has been endorsed through recent partnerships with CRUK and BioNTech.
  • Investment summary: Scancell is trading on an EV of ca.£34m, compared with a cumulative investment of £29m to get the company to where it is today, which is low compared to its relevant peers. Scancell’s proprietary technologies are in the ‘hot’ area of immuno-oncology and targeting markets of significant unmet medical need. Recent deals have demonstrated the price that big pharma is willing to pay for validated assets in the field.