Missing out on the CRUK Grand Challenge

Lighthouse | 23 January 2019

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  • The winner of the CRUK Grand Challenge has been announced and, although commended, Project Blueprint (including Modi-3) in which Scancell was involved was not selected. A total of 134 applications from 41 countries were received, with Scancell being a member of one of the ten multidisciplinary teams that were asked to submit full applications and be interviewed by an independent advisory panel. The submission was headed by Prof Lindy Durrant and Prof Ugur Sahin involved 16 members from across Europe and the US that included academics, clinicians, surgeons, and industry experts (Genentech, ISA Pharmaceuticals and BioNTech).
  • That Project Blueprint was short-listed for the Grand Challenge can be viewed as important validation of Scancell’s Moditope technology as a whole and this approach in particular. However, as we stated in our Initiation note (November 2018), whilst clearly flattering to be selected we questioned whether the Prize would become an unnecessary distraction.
  • The headline appeal of a grant of up to £20m is understandable, with some viewing this as attractive non-dilutive funding. However, placing this in context, this would have to be shared between the various team members and the amount apportioned to Scancell would probably have been around 5% of the award spread over five years.
  • More importantly, we questioned who would own the data and the intellectual property that arose from the programme. It is worth noting that the new Moditope vaccine, Modi-3, resulting from Project Blueprint could still be developed with one or more of the team members on a more commercial basis.

Trinity Delta view: We never bought into the value of winning the CRUK Grand Challenge and so today’s announcement is not material to our stance or valuation. Understandably some will be disappointed at being so close yet missing out; but, in our view, the commercial importance of the award was always questionable, particularly in relation to ownership of any intellectual property that arose.

We continue to value Scancell at 21.1p/share. There are various catalysts over the coming year with a Phase II trial with ImmunoBody SCIB1 and the first clinical study with a Moditope due to be initiated in 2019. It has started the year by announcing the strengthening of its team with the appointment of Dr Samantha Paston from Immunocore as Head of Research and Dr Adrian Parry from Mereo BioPharma as Head of Manufacturing.


6 February 2019

Market Cap£37m
Primary exchangeAIM London
Company CodeSCLP
Corporate clientYes

Company description

Scancell is a clinical-stage immuno-oncology specialist that is developing two innovative and flexible therapeutic vaccine platforms. ImmunoBody and Moditope induce high avidity cytotoxic CD8 and CD4 responses, respectively, with the potential to treat various cancers.


Mick Cooper PhD
+44 (0) 20 3637 5042

Lala Gregorek
+44 (0) 20 3637 5043


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