Scancell Holdings consortium gets government backing for Covid trial

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Scancell Holdings PLC (LON:SCLP) said a consortium led by its chief scientific officer will receive government funding to kick start clinical development of a long-acting COVID-19 vaccine based on the company’s technology.

The drug developer said it expects to receive around £2mln of the sum awarded by Innovate UK, which should underwrite the majority of the costs of the phase I trial, which gets underway next year.

Heading the COVIDITY study will be Prof Lindy Durrant. She has teamed up with Prof Jonathan Ball and Dr James Dixon of Nottingham University and Prof Graham Pockley at Nottingham Trent.

Using technology that has been successfully applied with Scancell’s lead cancer vaccine, SCIB1, the team wants to create a simple, safe, cost-effective and scalable vaccine.

The inoculation is expected to induce both “durable” T cell responses and virus neutralising antibodies to provide long-lasting immunity against COVID-19.

The idea is to create a second-generation jab with more potent, long-lasting responses, particularly in the elderly.

“We are delighted that Innovate UK has chosen to support our novel COVID-19 vaccine,” said Scancell chief executive Dr Clive Holloway.

“This funding will allow us to accelerate progress towards our planned phase I clinical trial, COVIDITY.”

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