CHAPEL HILL, NC – Vaccine technology company Heat Biologics has come into more money to help pay for clinical trials for its novel cancer-fighting immunotherapy.
The North Carolina Biotechnology Center awarded the biotechnology company a $250,000 loan to cover some of the company’s trial expenses. Chapel Hill, North Carolina-based Heat is in the midst of afundraising round expected to raise $4.1 million to finance clinical trials.
“This loan will allow us to accelerate the pace at which we move our innovative cancer vaccines into the clinical trial phase,” Heat CEO Jeffrey Wolf said in a statement. “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.”
Heat is in phase 2 clinical trials studying its vaccine candidate HS-110 to treat nonsmall cell lung cancer. The company plans to start additional clinical studies in bladder and ovarian cancer this year. Heat’s proprietary Immune Pan-Antigen Cytotoxic Therapy, or ImPACT, reprograms live tumor cells to continually produce antigens that prompt the body’s immune system to fight disease. ImPACT is used to make off-the-shelf vaccines that can be used by a general population of patients, unlike some of the personalized medicine therapies that are patient specific.
Heat Biologics was spun out of the University of Miami in 2008. The company last year relocated to North Carolina, though it still maintains a research facility at the University of Miami Life Science Park. The company’s technology has applications beyond cancers. Heat is also conducting preclinical research of its technology as a possible HIV treatment. The company has received National Institutes of Health funding to support the HIV research.