Scancell, Calculus portfolio company, said it has enrolled its first patient in the expansion phase of its ModiFY trial, assessing its Modi-1 therapy as a treatment for several types of cancer.

Recruitment has also started using Modi-1 in combination with a checkpoint inhibitor (CPI), Scancell added.

Modi-1 is the first candidate from Scancell’s Moditope platform and is being trialled on patients suffering from head and neck, triple-negative breast and renal tumours and as a monotherapy in patients with ovarian cancer, where there are no approved CPI therapies.

ModiFY will recruit up to 125 patients in up to 20 clinical trial sites across the UK and the expansion of the trial follows a review of the safety data from the Cohort 2 patients.

All three patients in Cohort 2 successfully received two doses and the injections were well tolerated with no safety concerns, Scancell said, while all three showed a delayed-type hypersensitivity response to the vaccine, which is indicative of a T cell response,

In a statement, Lindy Durrant, Scncell’s CEO, commented:: “This is an encouraging milestone for the company, showing that the higher dose of Modi-1 is generating immune responses that may be impacting tumour growth.

“We are encouraged that there were no safety concerns in Cohort 2, allowing us to proceed with the monotherapy expansion and into Cohort 3 in combination with checkpoint inhibitors.”

CPIs block the protein that can shield cancer cells from the immune system allowing the body’s killer or T Cells to destroy them.