Giving first glimpse of data, Scancell looks for Covid-19 vaccine partner
UK-based biotech Scancell is lifting the veil off a Phase I trial for its Covid-19 vaccine, but it’ll also be making a pivot on the vaccine’s strategy.
Scancell said in a release on Monday that it is presenting the preliminary data from its Phase I clinical trial, which was conducted at the University of Cape Town Lung Institue in South Africa. The trial was intended to look at two of vaccine Scancell’s candidates, SCOV1 and SCOV2, in patients before testing them as a booster. According to the biotech, both candidates are plasmid DNA-based vaccines.
The results showed antibody and T cell responses, with the level of the detectable antibodies in the blood at 67% following vaccination by the two candidates. Scancell also stated that the vaccines had an impact against several variants, including Omicron. No severe effects or major safety issues were reported during the trial.
But Scancell said in the release that it will not be going to take the vaccine forward on its own. Because of the larger size of later-stage trails and the competitiveness of the current Covid-19 field, the biotech will be looking for a partner.
Scancell CEO Lindy Durrant said in the release:
Further large studies would be required to confirm the potential of the COVIDITY vaccine candidates to stimulate broad, cross-variant reactivity and compete with the currently approved COVID-19 vaccines. Therefore, and as previously disclosed, the Board has decided to seek a partner to further progress this programme. Going forwards, Scancell will focus its resources on progressing the portfolio of innovative immuno-oncology drug candidates that we have generated from our platforms
However, no details on potential partners or when Scancell will be transferring the candidate were disclosed. Endpoints News reached out to the biotech for more information.
The Covid-19 market has changed quite drastically since the big vaccine pushes a few years ago. Pharma giant Pfizer said on its Q4 earnings call that it is expecting much lower sales of Covid-19 products due to a lower following of compliance with vaccine regulations and fewer vaccines being administered, among other factors. This is leading to an anticipated drop of around 60% in vaccine sales revenue.
Last week, Japan canceled an order for more than 140 million doses of Novavax’s Covid-19 vaccine, after agreeing to purchase around 150 million doses from Takeda in 2021. Takeda CFO Costa Saroukos said on a previous call that it is seeing “low market demand” for the vaccine due to vaccination in Japan and the Omicron variant’s presence.