TC BioPharm to develop cancer treatment with Medinet of Japan


Supported by £500,000 Regional Selective Assistance

Scotland-based start-up biotechnology company TC BioPharm (TCB) is to collaborate with Japanese immuno-cell therapy company Medinet to develop a novel treatment for various types of cancer.

Medinet will exclusively license its cell therapy technology to TC Biopharm for clinical development in the UK and Europe. This tie-up and subsequent commercialisation is supported by Scottish Development International, the international arm of Scotland’s enterprise agencies.

TCB’s technology uses patients’ own immune cells grown in culture to target cancer, and has a safe history based on the treatment of numerous patients in Japan.

The company has obtained scientific advice from the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, which has provided a clear roadmap to clinical studies. Under expert guidance from Principal Investigator, Professor Jeff Evans of the University of Glasgow, TCB plans to treat the first cohort of patients early in 2015, working alongside established cancer clinics in Glasgow and Southampton.

Combining grant support with equity finance from Medinet and Scottish investors, TCB has an initial funding commitment of £1.3m, with additional venture capital anticipated to support further clinical studies.

We are one important step closer to Phase II clinical studies and our goal of treating cancer patients with this novel cell therapy

A £500,000 Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) award from Scottish Enterprise will enable 35 skilled jobs to be created over the next three years as the company grows. Additional funding for academic collaborations has been provided by Glasgow City Council.

Kunihiko Suzuki, Chief Executive of Medinet said: 'It is encouraging to have an excellent business partner in the UK, headed by Dr Michael Leek, who has a well established reputation in the biotechnology and regenerative medicine industry. Over the next few years I believe our partnership with TC BioPharm will successfully obtain marketing approval of this exciting immuno-cell therapy for cancer patients in the UK and Europe.'

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Michael Leek, Chief Executive of TC BioPharm, said: 'We are one important step closer to Phase II clinical studies and our goal of treating cancer patients with this novel cell therapy. The therapeutic approach being developed by TCB connects both regenerative and stratified medicine, placing Scotland at the forefront of these innovative therapeutic sectors.'