Scancell, the Nottingham based cancer vaccine developer, released a trading update in its AGM statement on December 14th, 2010. The company reported that the Phase I clinical trial for its lead product - SCIB1 for melanoma - which was initiated in June, is progressing but has been delayed by difficulties in enrolling patients (4 of the necessary 9 patients have already been enrolled). The problem is that the Phase I requires Stage IV melanoma patients, and some of these are being recruited into a couple of other clinical trials, resulting in fewer patients being available.

Scancell is doing a couple of things to compensate for the delay. First, they are opening two further clinical sites in order to gain access to a greater number of patient candidates. Second, they have applied to the regulator for clinical protocol amendments to allow them to study less sick melanoma patients. This application will take up to 90 days to be approved (or not), so more news on this front should be forthcoming in Q1 2011.

Scancell anticipates completing the Phase I study in 2011, but key data will not be available as early as anticipated, which may lead to a funding gap of £500,000 to £1 million as the company arranges a development partnership to complete the planned Phase II clinical trial.

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