New Role: Cell Technician/Scientist

The Role(s): Biosceptre (UK) Ltd is seeking to recruit one or more Cell Technicians / Scientists to be based at its Cambridge UK site, to support ongoing therapeutic antibody and vaccine development projects. The role(s) will be for 6 months in the first instance with the possibility of becoming permanent.

The Company: Biosceptre is a UK-based biotechnology company with offices and laboratories based at the Babraham Research Institute, Cambridge, UK and also in Sydney, Australia. Biosceptre’s goal is to develop new cancer therapeutics and diagnostic approaches based on targeting the P2X7 receptor. Our lead product is about to enter a Phase 1 clinical trial and we aim to progress additional projects into the clinic rapidly.

Key Duties and Responsibilities: As a Cell Technician / Scientist, your role will include;

  1. Utilising and optimising cell based functional assays to evaluate candidate functionality including assays of cell proliferation, cell death and ethidium influx;
  2. Utilising flow cytometry, Western blot, immunocytochemistry (ICC) and ELISA assays to evaluate antibody binding and cellular function;
  3. Undertaking molecular biological analysis of P2X7 expression;
  4. Purification and preparation of antibodies and key reagents;
  5. Supporting the projects through coordinating ordering, ensuring reagents are prepared appropriately and ensuring that essential items of equipment are maintained appropriately;
  6. Supporting Biosceptre’s discovery projects through data delivery and assay development; and
  7. Preparing presentations and presenting data for lab and project meetings.

Role Requirements: Ideal applicants will have the following qualifications, experience and traits;

  1. An honours degree in a relevant life science field;
  2. Between 1-3 years research experience gained in academia or within an industrial setting;
    3. Hands-on experience in one or more of the following techniques; cell culture, cell-based functional assays, flow cytometry, ELISA, IHC, and protein purification and analysis;
  3. Must be a results-oriented, proactive and flexible team-player;
  4. Possess the ability to work independently whilst remaining focused on delivery of objectives;
  5. Demonstrate attention to detail in conducting, and documenting experiments; and
  6. Maintain records in compliance with the Company policy.

Applications: To apply for this position, please send your C.V. and a letter of application detailing your suitability for this position to careers@biosceptre.com

Biosceptre (UK) Ltd is an Equal Opportunities employer that is happy to welcome applications from  all suitably qualified personnel.

 

Biosceptre’s Phase 1 Clinical Trial for anti-cancer vaccine BIL06v approved by Ethics Committee

On the 21st of February Biosceptre’s proposed Phase I clinical trial for BIL06v (anti-cancer vaccine) was granted conditional approval by the Bellberry Ethics committee. Biosceptre is now proceeding to take BIL06v into a Phase I trial in late Q2 or early Q3 2018.

Biosceptre has high confidence in the safety of BIL06v, in part as a result of pre-clinical studies and compassionate access patients treated in Australia under the TGA’s Special Access Scheme.

The planned clinical trial will recruit between 20 and 30 patients from a basket of late stage cancers and seeks to confirm safety, tolerability and immunogenicity of BIL06v.  The planned clinical trial will also seek to identify early indications of efficacy in humans.

CEO Gavin Currie said “Having recently closed entry to our Series A fund raising round, we are pleased that this fully funded clinical trial, building on significant preclinical data, has been conditionally approved.  We consider that a successful clinical trial, our first for a systemic therapeutic product targeting nfP2X7, will provide further validation of nfP2X7. We are hopeful for first patient recruitment in Q2 2018.”

Biosceptre welcomes Tuspark S & T into its Series A fund raising round

Biosceptre has received over £8M into its’ series A raise which will be used to resource the next stage of the companies’ development; progression into the clinic of Biosceptre’s first systemic products against novel oncology target nfP2X7.  Biosceptre will close the series A on the 21st December, 2017.

The major portion of the raise received to date was led by Tuspark Science and Technology Service Group, the venture arm of Tsinghua University, Beijing, and was made through through its investment vehicle, Bluesky Partnership II L.P.

Biosceptre CEO Gavin Currie said “After a period of extensive preclinical work to establish the validity of the novel oncology target nfP2X7 for systemic therapies, the Biosceptre board is very pleased to see the company achieve this significant milestone. The work we have done to date on exploitation of nfP2X7 as a therapeutic target has shown incredible promise, and we are now very eager to generate in-human formal clinical trial results that bear out that promise.”

“We welcome Tuspark as they become a strategic shareholder, and look forward to working closely with them. We also thank other participants in this round for their support.”

At the boards’ direction, Biosceptre will apply the funding to progression of the companies’ highest priority clinical assets into Phase I and II trials in Australia. A Phase I trial of the peptide vaccine BIL06v is scheduled to start at three sites in Sydney Australia in 2018. Ethics approval has also been granted for a Phase I clinical trial for Biosceptre’s lead antibody BIL03s, however the company is currently reviewing improvements to this lead.  In addition to these plans, a number of Investigator Initiated Trials at research centres are also in planning.  Biosceptre anticipates announcing clinical milestones and results over the next 18 months, which would, if favourable, facilitate an IPO or trade sale as early as 2019.

About Tuspark S & T:

Tus Science & Technology Service Group is the leading S&T Service Platform by Tus-Holdings. It was jointly founded by Tus-Holdings and Tsinghua Holdings in 2014, with strategic investment from CCB and ICBC. It is a platform committed to helping customers with complex challenges and improving quality of life through S&T innovations. It is the first S&T service provider in China devoted to building an integrated platform for innovation and entrepreneurship and has total assets of RMB 50B+.

About Biosceptre:

Biosceptre is a Cambridge, UK headquartered biotechnology company focused on developing next generation cancer treatments targeting nfP2X7. Sir Greg Winter, founder of Cambridge Antibody Technology and Domantis is acting chairman of the Biosceptre Board of Directors and also chairs the Science Advisory Board.

Biosceptre’s clinical programs include systemic antibody-based therapeutics and vaccines, intended to treat a range of cancer types. With one successful phase I trial completed, Biosceptre will be progressing a number of clinical trials across a range of cancer indications. These trials will further advance the establishing of nfP2X7 as a new and important target for the successful treatment of a range of human cancers.

Biosceptre and Tuspark S & T team celebrating Tuspark’s decision to invest in Biosceptre

 

 

 

 

Biosceptre Joins European Cooperation in Science & Technology COST Group BMBS 1406 – with focus on Ion Channels and Immune Response

Biosceptre announces today its membership of the COST Group (European Cooperation in Science & Technology) project COST BMBS 1406. This project, established in 2014, created the Ion chan-Immune response network that brings together internationally recognised scientists and companies across 15 European countries with the common goal of understanding the function of ion channels in immune cells.

Biosceptre joins BMBS1406 as a private research industry representative, with the goal of strengthening its collaborations and developing synergies with the scientific community. As an ion channel involved in immune response, P2X7 is the centre of significant interest for the COST Group BMBS 1406. By joining BMBS1406, Biosceptre is seeking to expand its understanding of its novel oncology target non-functional P2X7 (nfP2X7), a variant of the P2X7 ion channel which Biosceptre has shown to play a critical role in cancer cell survival.

The specific aims of the BMBS1406 Ion channel-Immune response network are

  1. to develop a strong European workforce to understand the role of ion channels in immune cells, and how deregulation of their function can cause disease, and
  2. to identify new targets for therapeutic immuno-interventions through modulation of ion channels.

The European project COST BMBS 1406 Ion channel – Immune response aims to connect specific ion channels with specific functions and diseases of our immune system.

Biosceptres’ clinical candidates specifically target a non-functional form of the P2X7 ion channel that is present only on the surface of cancer cells. Each of these clinical candidates has shown promising signs of efficacy in pre-clinical development as well as indicative efficacy and safety in compassionate access patients.

Biosceptre looks forward to contributing to COST 1406 as it seeks to achieve its goal of identifying new targets for therapeutic immuno-interventions through modulation of ion channels, and looks forward to participation within the group helping to increase understanding of the potential value of therapies targeting nfP2X7.

About Biosceptre:

Biosceptre is a Cambridge, UK headquartered biotechnology company focused on developing next generation cancer treatments targeting nfP2X7. Biosceptre’s programs include topical products, as well as systemic antibody-based therapeutics and vaccines, intended to treat a range of cancer types. With one successful phase I trial completed, Biosceptre will be progressing a range of candidates through the clinic, including:

  • BIL06v, a therapeutic vaccine for treatment of solid tumours (Phase 1)
  • BIL010t, a topical antibody treatment for Basal Cell Carcinoma (Phase 2)
  • BIL03s, a systemic human domain antibody for treatment of solid tumours (Phase 1)These trials will further advance the establishing of nfP2X7 as a new and important target for the successful treatment of a range of human cancers.

Professor Paul de Souza joins Biosceptre executive team as Chief Medical Officer

Biosceptre’s appointment of a CMO marks a major milestone in progression to the clinic of its therapeutic anticancer vaccine BIL06v against the novel oncology target nfP2X7.

Biosceptre is pleased to announce that Professor Paul de Souza has accepted the role of Chief Medical Officer at the company. Initially, Dr de Souza will provide guidance and insight on the Phase I clinical trial for Biosceptre’s cancer vaccine product BIL06v. The trial is expected to commence in Australia in 2H 2017.

Professor Paul De Souza is Foundation Chair of Medical Oncology, School of Medicine, at Western Sydney University; a conjoint Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, UNSW; and an Honorary Professor of the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, University of Sydney. He has over 20 years’ experience in caring for patients, especially those with brain cancer and genitourinary cancer, and clinical trials experience over the same period, including a stint as a Clinical Research Physician in a global research-based pharmaceutical company.

Paul will oversee the execution of the clinical trial protocol for Biosceptre’s innovative therapeutic cancer vaccine BIL06v, which targets the novel and promising oncology target nfP2X7. The Phase I trial will be run at two Australian sites initially: the SAN Hospital under clinical advocate A/Prof. Gavin Marx and the Northern Cancer Institute under clinical advocate A/Prof. Nick Pavlakis of the Royal North Shore Hospital.

Biosceptre CEO Gavin Currie said, “We are very pleased to have Professor de Souza join our executive team to take on the role of Chief Medical Officer; he brings to the company deep experience of oncology trials that will be critical to the success of our upcoming Phase 1 trial for BIL06v. We will also look to his expertise as we bring trials of our other clinical candidates online as well. We welcome Paul and look forward to a productive partnership with him and his practice.”

Professor de Souza said, “The BIL06v trial is an opportunity to investigate potential of therapies targeting a new and very promising oncology marker – nfP2X7 – discovered by Biosceptre. If the trials are able to replicate the safety and efficacy that have been indicated by results produced in preclinical studies of BIL06v, and in compassionate access patient treatments, this cancer vaccine therapy has potential to make a significant contribution to the successful treatment of many cancers.”

About Professor Paul De Souza:

Professor de Souza is Foundation Chair of Medical Oncology at Western Sydney University and is a practicing medical oncologist at Liverpool Hospital, St George Private Hospital, and Southside Cancer Care Centre. He runs a research laboratory at the Ingham Institute in Sydney, and is dedicated to developing new drugs for cancer patients and innovative methodologies for monitoring of cancers, and running many clinical trials.

After completion of his medical oncology training in Sydney, Paul was appointed as a Research Associate and later an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Virginia where he developed his clinical and research interests in cancer drug development.

Professor de Souza’s Qualifications:

BScMed MB BS MPH Syd, PhD UNSW, FRACP
Professor de Souza’s Society Memberships & Professional Activities:
ASCO, AACR, SNO, MOG, COSA

About Biosceptre:

Biosceptre is a Cambridge, UK headquartered biotechnology company focused on developing next generation cancer treatments targeting nfP2X7. Biosceptre’s programs include topical products, as well as systemic antibody-based therapeutics and vaccines, intended to treat a range of cancer types. With one successful phase I trial completed, Biosceptre seeks to progress three products through the clinic:

– BIL03s, a systemic human domain antibody for treatment of solid tumours (Phase 1)

– BIL06v, a therapeutic vaccine for treatment of solid tumours (Phase 1)

– BIL010t, a topical antibody treatment for Basal Cell Carcinoma (Phase 2)

These trials will further advance the exploitation of nfP2X7 as a new and important target for the successful treatment of a range of human cancers.

About Western Sydney University (WSU):

Ranked in the Top 100 Young Universities in the World by Times Higher Education, WSU is a vibrant research institution committed to achieving excellence and impact by its research. Eleven of the University’s research disciplines, including Oncology and Carcinogenesis, were rated at Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) level 5 in 2015, meaning that they ranked “well above world standard” – the highest ranking possible. 80 per cent of WSU’s research is now ranked world standard or above.

Further information on WSU can be found at https://www.westernsydney.edu.au/research/research.

Biosceptre’s Phase 1 Clinical Trial for anti-cancer antibody BIL03s approved by Ethics Committee

Biosceptre’s proposed Phase I clinical trial for BIL03s (anti-cancer monoclonal antibody therapy) was granted conditional approval by the Bellberry Ethics committee. Biosceptre is now seeking partners and external funding to progress BIL03s into the clinic.

Biosceptre has high confidence in the safety of BIL03s, in part as a result of pre-clinical toxicology studies and compassionate access patients treated in Australia under the TGA’s Special Access Scheme.

The planned clinical trial, approved on 5th of January, would recruit between 12 and 42 patients with a range of late stage cancers and seek in a Phase I clinical trial to confirm safety and tolerability of BIL03s and provide indications of efficacy in humans.

CEO Gavin Currie said “We are pleased that this clinical trial, building on significant preclinical data, has been conditionally approved, and believe that a successful clinical trial, our first for a systemic therapeutic product targeting nfP2X7, would provide further validation of our oncology therapy target. We are now seeking partners and external funding to progress BIL03s into clinic.

Biosceptre publishes a clinical study of topical drug BIL010t as therapy for BCC

Biosceptre has published a clinical study demonstrating that its topical drug BIL010t provides a novel, safe and tolerable topical therapy for BCC in the British Journal of Dermatology (BJD).

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common type of cancer, and its incidence is increasing. Biosceptre has discovered a variant of an important signalling protein P2X7, termed nfP2X7, that occurs in the cancer cell membrane and is present in BCC. In nfP2X7, a critical function involved in cell death is lost. Loss of this function is believed to play an important role in cancer. The nfP2X7 receptor is uniquely targeted by Biosceptre therapies without significant off-target safety issues. Biosceptre has developed three therapeutic candidates targeting nfP2X7. BIL010t, the subject of the BJD paper, is the most clinically advanced, and has the potential to provide a first in class therapy for BCC. Our article on BIL010t provides an overview of preclinical and clinical development activities to date for BIL010t.

(http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bjd.15364/abstract)

The data presented in the paper demonstrates high patient compliance for BIL010t, with treatment being well-tolerated. Efficacy was also investigated with lesion size measured prior to and after 28 days treatment, with 65% of patients showing a reduction in lesion area and 20% no change in area. Histopathology of post-treatment excision of lesion sites showed 8 patients with stable disease, 9 with partial response and 3 with complete response. The conclusions from this study show that antibodies against nfP2X7 (BIL010t) have the potential to provide a novel, safe and well tolerated treatment for BCC.

Biosceptre appoints Sir Greg Winter as Chairman of the Board

Biosceptre is pleased to announce the appointment of Sir Greg Winter as interim Chairman of the Biosceptre Board. Sir Greg has led the Science Advisory Board of Biosceptre for over 4 years and also joined the Board of Directors as a non-executive director in May 2016.

Sir Greg said: “My interest in Biosceptre began when Domantis was involved in developing a domain antibody against nfP2X7 – a promising new target for immuno-oncology. Having served on the SAB for some years and on the the board for a short time, I am pleased to take the role of interim Chairman of the Board of Directors as the Biosceptre programme advances towards clinical trials.”

Gavin Currie, CEO of Biosceptre, said “We are grateful that Sir Greg has taken this further role at Biosceptre, increasing again his thought leadership and support for the business. I also take this opportunity to thank the outgoing Chair Peter Newton for his long support and service to Biosceptre”.