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December 10, 2003

Scancell, Onyvax and CRT Announce Agreement to Facilitate the Development of “Immunobody” Cancer Vaccine Technology

Scancell Ltd., Onyvax Limited and Cancer Research Technology Limited (CRT), today announced an agreement enabling Scancell to develop and commercialise its proprietary ImmunoBody cancer vaccine technology. Under the terms of the agreement Onyvax, one of the world’s leading cancer vaccine companies, will also have a non-exclusive licence to develop the technology.

The ImmunoBody Approach

Cancer vaccines represent a highly attractive approach for cancer therapy as, in contrast to current treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy, small non-toxic doses of a vaccine may be administered to a patient to stimulate an immune response. It is generally accepted that to be effective against cancer, a vaccine needs to target dendritic cells to stimulate both parts of the cellular immune system, the helper cell system (known as the CD4-mediated response) which stimulates inflammation at the tumour site, and the cytotoxic T-lymphocyte or CTL response (known as the CD8-mediated response) in which cells of the immune system are primed to recognise and kill specific cells.

A limitation of many cancer vaccines currently in development is that they cannot specifically target dendritic cells in vivo. Several groups have demonstrated successful vaccination by growing dendritic cells ex vivo, pulsing them with tumour antigens and re-infusing them. However, this procedure is patient specific, time consuming and expensive.

Scancell’s ImmunoBody approach involves engineering a human antibody to express helper cell and CTL epitopes from tumour antigens over-expressed by commercially important solid tumours. These ImmunoBodies efficiently target dendritic cells in vivo via the CD64 receptor to stimulate effective immunity. They offer the potential to develop more effective vaccines against both cancer and infectious diseases.

Commenting on the agreement, Professor Lindy Durrant, CEO of Scancell, said:
“ We are very pleased to have reached agreement with CRT and Onyvax on the ImmunoBody programme. This platform offers Scancell the opportunity to develop new cancer vaccines on its own behalf and in partnership with others. The collaboration with Onyvax is the first exciting example of how we intend to accelerate the development of the ImmunoBody programme through partnerships over the next few years.”

Dr. Anthony Walker, CEO of Onyvax, commented:
“ Scancell’s ImmunoBody technology is potentially a breakthrough in cancer vaccine design, offering the opportunity to develop more effective vaccines against this disease.”

Dr. Keith Blundy, Director of Business Management at CRT, said:
“ We are very pleased that Scancell and Onyvax will be undertaking further development of the ImmunoBody technology and hope that the programme will lead to new therapeutic options for cancer patients.”

- Ends -

Notes to Editors:

Onyvax Ltd is a biotechnology company developing novel cancer therapies that harness the selective power of the immune system to seek and destroy tumour cells.

Founded in 1997, Onyvax has three product candidates in clinical trials designed for the treatment of prostate and other cancers. Onyvax’s lead products are based on combinations of inactivated cell lines that induce immune responses to a broad spectrum of tumour targets. For each cancer type, Onyvax generates banks of proprietary cell lines representative of different stages of the disease. The vaccines are manufactured in bulk under standardised conditions.

Onyvax is committed to the commercialisation of new therapies that significantly prolong survival while maintaining a high quality of life for cancer patients. The Company is based in London and has collaborations with leading institutions in Europe and the US.

Further information on Onyvax can be found at www.onyvax.com

Scancell Ltd is a company focussed on the discovery and development of products that harness the immune system in a unique way to treat or prevent cancer. The Company has five monoclonal antibody products in active development and has also developed its patent protected ImmunoBody technology for the discovery of improved cancer vaccines. It has already secured three major technology-validating collaborations with significant players in the sector including Celltech, the acknowledged flagship of the UK biotechnology industry, Genmab, a leading Danish antibody company and ISU, a company at the forefront of Korean biotechnology. For more information about Scancell visit www.scancell.co.uk

Cancer Research Technology Limited is a specialist technology transfer company which aims to develop new discoveries in cancer research for the benefit of cancer patients. CRT is wholly owned by Cancer Research UK, the largest independent funder of cancer research in the world. CRT works closely with leading international cancer scientists and their institutes to protect intellectual property arising from their research and to establish links with commercial partners. CRT facilitates the discovery, development and marketing of new cancer therapeutics, vaccines, diagnostics and enabling technologies.

For further information, please contact:

Onyvax
Dr Anthony Walker David Yates / Francetta Carr
Chief Executive Officer Financial Dynamics
+44 (0)20 8682 9119 +44 (0)20 7831 3113

Scancell
Prof Lindy Durrant Dr Richard Goodfellow
Chief Executive Officer Commercial Director
+44 (0)115 9628 033 +44 (0)115 9628 033

CRT
Dr Keith Blundy
Director of Business Management
+44 (0)20 7269 3640

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