Heat Biologics Awarded $250,000 Strategic Growth Loan from North Carolina Biotechnology Center

Posted in Press Releases on Monday, January 09, 2012.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – (Jan. 9, 2012) – Heat Biologics, a clinical-stage immunotherapy company, has been awarded a $250,000 Strategic Growth Loan from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.

The loan, which was the maximum available, resulted from an extensive Biotechnology Center review process that evaluated the technical and commercial merits of the company’s research and development plan. Funds will be used to help Heat move its groundbreaking vaccines into the clinical trial phase.

“This loan will allow us to accelerate the pace at which we move our innovative cancer vaccines into the clinical trial phase,” said Heat CEO Jeffrey Wolf. “It helps Heat take a step forward on the path to offering options to patients battling some of the most devastating cancers and infectious diseases.”

Joseph Nixon, business development director at the Center, oversees the loan program. “The Biotechnology Center is pleased to support the growth of Heat Biologics,” he said, “with its innovative technology and the potential to create biotechnology jobs in North Carolina. Heat Biologics is a very good fit for the Strategic Growth Loan, part of the Biotechnology Center’s core programs.”

Heat Biologics, which recently relocated its headquarters to Chapel Hill from Miami, is focused on developing novel off-the-shelf ImPACT therapeutic vaccines to treat a wide range of cancers and infectious diseases. Off-the-shelf vaccines are those that can be used by the general population, versus autogenous, or custom-made, therapies designed for specific patients.

Heat is conducting Phase II clinical trials with its lead drug, HS-110, for use against non-small cell lung cancer. HS-110 is a vaccine therapy built on Heat’s ImPACT technology, which reprograms live tumor cells to continually pump out antigens that mobilize and activate the body’s natural killer T cells against the targeted cancer.

About North Carolina Biotechnology Center

The Biotechnology Center (www.ncbiotech.org) is a private, non-profit corporation supported by the North Carolina General Assembly. Its mission is to provide long-term economic and societal benefits to North Carolina by supporting biotechnology research, business, education and strategic policy statewide.

About Heat Biologics

Heat Biologics (www.heatbio.com) is a clinical-stage company focused on developing its novel off-the-shelf ImPACT therapeutic vaccines to combat a wide range of cancers and infectious diseases. ImPACT Therapy exploits the natural ability of antigens to activate the immune system by utilizing live, off-the-shelf, genetically modified cells injected into a patient to elicit a powerful immune response against the disease target. Heat’s ImPACT Therapy is based upon heat shock protein gp-96, a chaperone protein found in all human cells and normally tethered to our cells with a leash called the KDEL sequence. ImPACT Therapy removes this KDEL leash, thus transforming allogeneic living cells into powerful machines that continually pump out gp96 and their chaperoned antigens to activate the immune system against the full spectrum of antigens expressed by a patient’s disease. Heat is currently in Phase II trials against non-small cell lung cancer. Positive prophylactic and therapeutic data against SIV (the primate equivalent of HIV) has also been generated in a large 48-primate NIH-sponsored study, the first of ImPACT’s ability to combat viral diseases. Heat plans to initiate additional clinical trials against bladder and ovarian cancer in 2012.

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