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The Dendreon Corporation is the one and only global leader in therapeutic cancer vaccines. The technology they use requires extracting immune system alarm cells (dendritic cells) from the patient's blood, pulsing them with cancer antigens and injecting them back into that same patient. This has proved prohibitively expensive. Scancell therefore designed an alternative solution and has provided the industry and the regulatory authorities with a more commercially viable product: a DNA dendtritic cell vaccine which coats the alarm cells with epitopes of cancer antigens while those alarm cells are still in the patient's body. This provides a solution with no rejection problems and can therefore be given to any number of patients without having to manufacture a fresh batch.

Dendreon's Provenge, to treat prostate cancer, is the first and only therapeutic cancer vaccine commercially approved to date but the business model behind it is fatally flawed and the industry knows it. The treatment is simply unaffordable. So as Dendreon's stock has plummeted, Scancell's stock has risen, making Scancell London's best performing stock of 2012. Without doubt Scancell remains the most significant ongoing threat to Dendreon's dominance.

Research link:

Here is a useful and informative post from Alan Turing, a poster with a good scientific background who writes on LSE's Scancell Chat. He is commenting on the recent Phase 1 results for Scancell's lead vaccine to treat melanoma, SCIB1:


Well they were pretty astonishing really. Firstly because they were only measuring a group of patients in a study to test for toxicity, so there were only a few patients who actually received the vaccine at full strength.

The key 'stand out' was the tumour shrinkage in the patient with lung metastases. Dendritic cell vaccines have never before shrunk tumours without a toxic additive. Gp100 for instance was the first dendritic cell vaccine that was said, with much fanfare, to shrink tumours but only with the addition of the highly toxic Interleukin 2 (which defeats the purpose of using a non-toxic dendritic cell vaccine in my book). But previously without this additive Gp100 showed no signs of being able to shrink tumours. This is the most important achievement so far by SCIB1. It now has to repeat this in the proposed 8mg dose trial. If this tumour shrinking capability is confirmed then SCIB1 will have outdone all previous dendritic cell vaccines.

This extra power may be a result of its DNA delivery. The ImmunoBody vaccine consists of strands of DNA which are like a computer program. This DNA program is processed by the patient's healthy cells very much like a computer. Tens of thousands of antibodies are produced by the patient as instructed by Scancell's DNA program. Each antibody is shaped like a Y and on one of the arms of the Y is a 'pretend' cancer chemical unique to the cancer being treated. These antibodies, which in SCIB1's case, 'smell' like melanoma, stick to the surface of the immune system's sentinel cells (dendritic cells). They go crazy. To them they are covered in a foreign material that should definitely not be there. They then charge in their thousands to warn the immune system that something foreign has entered the body that needs to be searched for and destroyed. The immune system's army of T cells is dispatched. First the sappers, the Helper T-cells. They find the tumours and mark out a killing zone and change the blood chemistry inside this zone to make the tumours easier to kill. Then come the commandos, the Killer T-Cells to burst and destroy the tumours there.

This is so far ahead of what Dendreon does, Scancell's main competitor, that I suppose its no wonder that it achieved these promising results, albeit in just one particular patient. All eyes should be on the upcoming 8mg tumour trial, because so far, apart from its non-patient specific capability, the ability to shrink and eradicate tumours unaided is Scancell's most thrilling achievement. They have the pharmaceutical industry's attention for sure. Now they must show that they can repeat this success. I'm looking forward to the next instalment.

The market potential for dendritic cell vaccines is considerable. Scancell's vaccine is the only DNA (non-patient specific) version that has been shown to elicit an immune response. So if I was a buyer for a large pharmaceutical company looking for a dendritic cell vaccine to enter that sector of the market I would definitely choose Scancell's product first. The ability to shrink tumours is a unique one among this class of therapuetics so whatever this vaccine achieves on that front would be a bonus.

Massive surge means from 2.45p christmas eve to 11.5 p today so why no interest here.
That surge is ongoing and 14/15 p expected soon.

12:17 20/01/2013

I have been reading about this company and the industry. According to BP, green energy is growing some 7.9% per year.

Fair price for a company with many shareholders holding stock undervalued at around 20p, is this a quick march up to the battleground?? or is it a false start

12:14 22/11/2012

In my relatively little experience of the stock market (since 2008 crash) I have not seen a single placing where the placing price has been the actual price of the share on the announcement day.

The important thing to consider is the percentage discount. So in this case, its about a 25% discount which is not too surprising I guess. If they'd have gone in at a 50% discount I'd have been _more_ annoyed. Don't get me wrong, I'm annoyed about it, but equally, if an investor is taking 60 mill shares they are bound to want to , and be able to, haggle the price.

There's no right or wrong answer I beleive. It's just a case of making the best informed judgment with the info we have to hand and from experience

Time will tell!!

10:10 22/11/2012

The equity issue is a pain in the balls but I still have long term faith here... If the institutional investors are willingto pay 1p then so am I. But I am not happy at all with the way this issue was not conveyed in the conference call.

He should stop treating shareholders as kids and just tell it to us as it is rather than sugar coating the bad news. Shareholders would appreciate a bit of straight talking. We are all adults and we can take it!

If he'd have told us about the issue in the conf call then it wouldn;t have been a shock yesterday.

I think what shareholders here are really yearning for is a bit of honesty and transparency.

11:07 15/11/2012

So we had a conference call yesterday which caused a momentary rise in share price which dwindled in the afternoon. We've had a mix bag of news and a shareprice which has done nobbut decline for 2 years. Shareholders are getting pretty fed up with this and there's a big variation in opinion. It's hard to sift out the wheat from the chaff.

Feel free to debate the share price (currently at 1.067p) of Red Rock here.

14:54 14/11/2012

what is going on with the SP over the last 2 weeks? we were posting good gains last quarter!

17:58 16/10/2012

Seems like someone from Investec has joined the board as a non exec...