Cancer vaccine developer, Scancell proves to be rare ten bagger in a year

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Scancell, the AIM listed developer of DNA vaccines for the skin cancer – melanoma, has had one heck of a run in the last 12 months. After having a 10 for 1 share split in July 2011, it’s shares were sitting at around 5-6p, today they are trading at 56p despite the company issuing an RNS on Monday that it knows no reason for the recent rapid share price surge. The shares are up 70 percent in the last month and 950 percent in the last year.

The company, which was founded in 1997 as a spin-out from the University of Nottingham, moved to AIM in July 2010 after a stint on Plus Markets.

The company’s lead product is called SCIB1, a DNA vaccine, which went into early stage phase I/II clinical trials in July 2010. The study is still ongoing, but results from phase I (dose ranging and side effects) should be available at the end of 2012 with the full phase 2 study (efficacy data) complete in late 2013 and published in 2014.

The shares have ignited in the last month on rumours of a company takeover or collaboration with a larger pharmaceutical. Buy, much remains to be done to prove up the concept of SCIB1 which has shown promise in animal models but proven efficacy in human volunteers still remains elusive, although side effects in the studies to date seem to be minimal.  

There is much talk of a takeover at over £3 which seems unlikely until the clinical trial results are available and positive. There’s certainly plenty of froth in Scancell but for lucky investors who bought in during 2011, there’s plenty of reasons to take profits until the potential of SCIB1 is confirmed. UK based biotech companies have been a graveyard for many investors money in the past, so caution is the key!

Contrarian Investor UK

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