Scancell has formed a non-exclusive collaboration with a leading antibody technology company, with a view to out-licensing its glycan antibodies and AvidiMab technology. Antibodies against glycans (carbohydrates on proteins or lipids) are difficult to make but have much potential in oncology as many are highly specific to tumour cells. AvidiMab enables an antibody to kill cancer cells directly, without mediation by other elements of the immune system. The potential of the glycan antibodies and AvidiMab platform, although they are still preclinical, is such that we believe Scancell could receive significant upfront and milestone payments, providing material non-dilutive funding for the core ImmunoBody and Moditope platforms.
Scancell acquired a panel of monoclonal antibodies that bind to glycans and the related IP from Nottingham University in April 2018, and has now started the partnering process for the antibodies and technology, having developed the data packages. Tumourassociated glycans (TaGs) are an attractive, but virtually untapped, pool of oncology targets as they are often highly tumour-specific. Scancell’s AvidiMab technology enables antibodies to kill tumours directly, without the intervention of the immune system, which could be particularly valuable in patients with “cold” tumours.
Licensing deals for the glycan antibodies and AvidiMab technology could provide Scancell with meaningful, nondilutive funding for its key technology platforms, ImmunoBody and Moditope. For reference, Scancell out-licensed some related antibodies to the Australian biotech, Peptech, in 2006 receiving an upfront payment of £2.0m and a £2.85m milestone. While a royalty will be payable to Nottingham University, any deal should deliver an impressive return on investment and improve Scancell’s cash position.
Initial clinical data from the recently-started Phase II melanoma study with ImmunoBody SCIB1 in combination with pembrolizumab, and the Phase I/II trial in various solid tumours with Moditope Modi-1 are due in H220. Promising results from either trial could transform the prospects of the company.
We value Scancell at £82.0m (17.6p/share) based on a rNPV and sum-of-the-parts methodology, with conservative assumptions. Licensing deal(s) would improve Scancell’s cash position. It had cash of £4.6m on 30 April 2018, and subsequently received c £4.8m in total from a R&D tax credit receipt and the private placement to Vulpes Life Sciences Fund.