EDINBURGH-headquartered life sciences group TC BioPharm (TCB) is collaborating with Scotia Biologics, based in Aberdeen, in a multi-million pound deal to develop novel treatments for cancer and major viral disease.

Through the strategic collaboration, the firms will use Scotia’s technology to develop a range of cancer-targeting single-chain antibodies, each of which can treat a specific type of cancer, for TCB’s CAR-T platform. CAR-T technology aims to deliver new, safe therapies for diseases that are difficult to treat with current antibody-based approaches.

Antibodies developed by Scotia will be included in TCB’s therapeutic ImmuniCAR product range which targets cancerous cells, while leaving healthy cells untouched.

The firms said the collaboration opens new therapeutic horizons, providing TCB with invaluable access to novel therapeutic targets previously untreatable using conventional technology.

TCB is a clinical stage biotechnology company focusing on the treatment of cancer and serious viral disease.

Scotia is an immuno-technology company that specialises in generating and developing antibodies and vaccines for clinical diagnostic and immuno-therapy applications on a fee for service basis.

Having previously developed therapeutic antibodies for third-party customers, Scotia has changed commercial focus into immuno-oncology and treatment of cancer patients with the TCB collaboration. The deal provides Scotia with research funding, milestone payments related to clinical progress and royalties on sales.

Keith Charlton, Scotia chief executive, said: “Establishing this partnership with TCB enables Scotia to apply its antibody generation and engineering expertise to the exciting, rapidly growing field of CAR-T technology - promising to deliver new safe therapies for diseases that are difficult to treat with current antibody-based approaches.

“It also represents a new focus for the company by investing in longer-term revenue generation.”

Angela Scott, TCB’s chief operating officer, said the collaboration gives TCB all the tools to rapidly develop a broad platform of CAR-based treatments against a wide variety of cancer and anti-viral targets.