Immunotherapies developer Scancell has partnered with Cancer Research UK to investigate the vaccine candidate SCIB2 in a Phase I/II clinical trial for the treatment of solid tumours.

SCIB2 is part of the firm’s ImmunoBody immunotherapy platform designed to stimulate the immune system through increasing the uptake and presentation of cancer antigens for destroying tumour cells.

The vaccine candidate is being developed to target the NY-ESO-1 antigen expressed on various solid tumours such as non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), oesophageal, ovarian, bladder and prostate cancers, neuroblastoma, melanoma, and sarcoma.

Cancer Research UK will sponsor the Phase I/II trial that will evaluate SCIB2 in conjunction with a checkpoint inhibitor in subjects suffering from different types of solid tumors.

The trial will primarily focus on the treatment of NSCLC patients.

“We believe SCIB2 has the potential to provide a much-needed treatment option for patients suffering from a range of common solid tumours.”

Scancell chief scientific officer professor Lindy Durrant said: “In pre-clinical studies, we have shown that a combination of SCIB2 and checkpoint inhibition produces enhanced tumour destruction and significantly longer survival times than when either treatment was used alone.

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“We believe SCIB2 has the potential to provide a much-needed treatment option for patients suffering from a range of common solid tumours.”

Cancer Research UK’s Centre for Drug Development (CDD) will manufacture the SCIB2 clinical trial supplies, conduct pre-clinical testing, and will sponsor and supervise the trial.

Cancer Research UK drug development director Dr Nigel Blackburn said: “This collaboration will ensure that this innovative vaccine reaches patients sooner and could bring about urgently needed improvements for some cancers which can be hard to treat, including lung cancer: a disease where survival rates remain stubbornly low.”