Cancer Prevention and Research Institute

Firenze, Italy

Cancer Prevention and Research Institute

Firenze, Italy
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Researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Center have developed a first-of-its-kind nanoparticle vaccine immunotherapy that targets several different cancer types. The nanovaccine consists of tumor antigens – tumor proteins that can be recognized by the immune system – inside a synthetic polymer nanoparticle. Nanoparticle vaccines deliver minuscule particulates that stimulate the immune system to mount an immune response. The goal is to help people’s own bodies fight cancer. “What is unique about our design is the simplicity of the single-polymer composition that can precisely deliver tumor antigens to immune cells while stimulating innate immunity. These actions result in safe and robust production of tumor-specific T cells that kill cancer cells,” said Dr. Jinming Gao, a Professor of Pharmacology and Otolaryngology in UT Southwestern’s Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center. A study outlining this research, published online in Nature Nanotechnology, reported that the nanovaccine had anti-tumor efficacy in multiple tumor types in mice. The research was a collaboration between the laboratories of study senior authors Dr. Gao and Dr. Zhijian “James” Chen, Professor of Molecular Biology and Director of the Center for Inflammation Research. The Center was established in 2015 to study how the body senses infection and to develop approaches to exploit this knowledge to create new treatments for infection, immune disorders, and autoimmunity. Typical vaccines require immune cells to pick up tumor antigens in a “depot system” and then travel to the lymphoid organs for T cell activation, Dr. Gao said. Instead, nanoparticle vaccines can travel directly to the body’s lymph nodes to activate tumor-specific immune responses. “For nanoparticle vaccines to work, they must deliver antigens to proper cellular compartments within specialized immune cells called antigen-presenting cells and stimulate innate immunity,” said Dr. Chen, also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and holder of the George L. MacGregor Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Science. “Our nanovaccine did all of those things.” In this case, the experimental UTSW nanovaccine works by activating an adaptor protein called STING, which in turn stimulates the body’s immune defense system to ward off cancer. The scientists examined a variety of tumor models in mice: melanoma, colorectal cancer, and HPV-related cancers of the cervix, head, neck, and anogenital regions. In most cases, the nanovaccine slowed tumor growth and extended the animals’ lives. Other vaccine technologies have been used in cancer immunotherapy. However, they are usually complex – consisting of live bacteria or multiplex biological stimulants, Dr. Gao said. This complexity can make production costly and, in some cases, lead to immune-related toxicities in patients. With the emergence of new nanotechnology tools and increased understanding of polymeric drug delivery, Dr. Gao said, the field of nanoparticle vaccines has grown and attracted intense interest from academia and industry in the past decade. “Recent advances in understanding innate and adaptive immunity have also led to more collaborations between immunologists and nanotechnologists,” said Dr. Chen. “These partnerships are critical in propelling the rapid development of new generations of nanovaccines.” The investigative team is now working with physicians at UT Southwestern to explore clinical testing of the STING-activating nanovaccines for a variety of cancer indications. Combining nanovaccines with radiation or other immunotherapy strategies such as “checkpoint inhibition” can further augment their anti-tumor effectiveness. Study lead authors from UT Southwestern were Dr. Min Luo, research scientist; Dr. Hua Wang, Instructor of Molecular Biology; and Dr. Zhaohui Wang, postdoctoral fellow. Other UTSW researchers involved included graduate students Yang Li, Chensu Wang, Haocheng Cai, and Mingjian Du; Dr. Gang Huang, Instructor of Pharmacology and in the Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center; Dr. Xiang Chen, research specialist; Dr. Zhigang Lu, Instructor of Physiology; Dr. Matthew Porembka, Assistant Professor of Surgery and a Dedman Family Scholar in Clinical Care; Dr. Jayanthi Lea, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and holder of the Patricia Duniven Fletcher Distinguished Professorship in Gynecological Oncology; Dr. Arthur Frankel, Professor of Internal Medicine and in the Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center; and Dr. Yang-Xin Fu, Professor of Pathology and Immunology, and holder of the Mary Nell and Ralph B. Rogers Professorship in Immunology. Their work was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, a UTSW Small Animal Imaging Resource grant and a Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center support grant.


News Article | May 18, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Bone cancer patients facing difficult pelvic surgeries at the Texas Medical Center could soon benefit from Rice University research that will use personalized computer models to predict surgical outcomes for patients. The research is being made possible by a $5 million grant by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) to recruit mechanical engineering researcher B.J. Fregly to Rice's Department of Mechanical Engineering. The grant is one of 10 totaling more than $25 million approved this week by CPRIT in Austin. Fregly, a Knox T. Millsaps Professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Florida, is a classically trained mechanical engineer with more than 30 years of research experience building computer models that predict how a patient will function following different planned surgical or rehabilitation treatments. With motion-capture technology similar to that used by the film industry, Fregly and colleagues build personalized computer models of individual patients that can simulate post-treatment patient function for a wide range of treatment options being considered by the clinician. By performing the simulations in a systematic manner, Fregly's team seeks to identify the optimal surgical or rehabilitation treatment and how the clinician should implement it for the current patient -- a process called "personalized medicine." "My research program has always had a heavy orthopedic, human movement prediction and computational treatment design focus, and developing my CPRIT research plan in collaboration with surgeon Valerae Lewis at MD Anderson (Cancer Center) helped me realize how relevant my research toolbox is to orthopedic oncology," Fregly said. Lewis is chair of the Department of Orthopedic Oncology at MD Anderson. "I am extremely grateful to CPRIT for giving me the opportunity to take the innovative personalized treatment design methods I have been developing for other orthopedic conditions and apply them to cancer surgeries, where every patient is truly unique and requires a truly unique treatment plan," Fregly said. "I am enthusiastic to explore a broad range of orthopedic oncology applications with Dr. Lewis and her team in the years to come." Originally from Rochester, N.Y., Fregly earned his bachelor's degree from Princeton University and his doctoral degree from Stanford University before moving to the University of Lyon, France, for postdoctoral studies under a Chateaubriand Fellowship. He also worked at a Silicon Valley software startup for four years before joining the University of Florida in 1999. In his second year at Florida, Fregly was recognized as Teacher of the Year in his department, and in 2008 he was named Teacher of the Year in Florida's College of Engineering. He has published more than 75 refereed journal articles and won numerous research grants from NASA, the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including an NIH R01 "Knee Grand Challenge" grant in 2010 to collect and make freely available comprehensive human movement data sets that musculoskeletal modeling researchers around the world use to validate their predictions of muscle and joint contact forces in the knee. Fregly is no stranger to Rice. His wife, Shirley, is a 1988 alumna, and his son, Christopher, just completed his freshman year at Rice. In fact, Fregly's recruitment to Rice began with an August 2016 conversation as he was moving his son into university housing. "Shirley and I were helping move Christopher into his room at (one of Rice's residential colleges), and he walked in and said, 'I just met the college master (Laura Schaefer), and she said she wants to speak with you,'" Fregly recalled. Schaefer, chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, had recognized the senior Fregly's name and wanted to encourage him to apply for a position at Rice. Fregly said Schaefer also encouraged him to apply for CPRIT funding. Fregly's CPRIT research will focus on using patient-specific computational walking models to predict which type of pelvic surgery -- and how to perform it -- will maximize a patient's ability to regain mobility. Few cancer surgeries today are as invasive or life-changing as those involving the pelvis, the ring-shaped bone that anchors both the spine and hips. Removing key parts of the bone can keep patients off their feet for more than a year, and outcomes are so variable that patients often go into the operating room without a clear idea of what their walking ability will be like after surgery. "Custom pelvic prostheses have the potential to both maximize walking ability and minimize recovery time, but they are not available clinically because of low reliability," Fregly said. "That's an engineering problem that Rice is in a good position to tackle." He said his lab will work with Scott Tashman, director of the Biomotion Lab at the University of Texas Health Science Center, to gather patient-specific 3-D imaging, gross body movement and fine bone movement data. Using those data, Fregly's team will create a state-of-the-art computer model for each patient, and those models will provide force and stress predictions that mechanical engineering researcher Fred Higgs, director of the Particle Flow and Tribology Lab at Rice, will use to create custom prostheses with 3-D printing. "Our hope is to improve the postsurgical functional outcome and recovery time for pelvic sarcoma patients in the Texas Medical Center, regardless of which surgical method a patient receives," Fregly said. He said the CPRIT project is only possible because of the willingness of Rice and Texas Medical Center experts to collaborate. "This project could not have happened without a collaborative team," Fregly said. "I'm pulling it together and leading the modelling, but without Valerae Lewis we would have no clinical problem to address and no patients. Without Scott Tashman, we couldn't do pretreatment testing or assess how patients are progressing. And we need Fred Higgs' expertise to create custom implants using additive manufacturing. It really will take all of us to make this project go." Cancer is a leading cause of death for Texans. CPRIT was approved by state taxpayers in a 2007 ballot initiative to provide $3 billion to support cancer research statewide. To date, CPRIT has awarded $1.8 billion in grants to Texas researchers, institutions and organizations through its academic research, prevention and product development research programs. Rice recruits cancer researcher from Harvard with CPRIT grant -- May 26, 2015 http://news. This release can be found online at news.rice.edu. Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation's top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,879 undergraduates and 2,861 graduate students, Rice's undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for happiest students and for lots of race/class interaction by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger's Personal Finance. To read "What they're saying about Rice," go to http://tinyurl. .


News Article | May 11, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

Myxoma virus is an oncolytic poxvirus with the ability to selectively kill cancer cells without infecting or perturbing normal cells. More importantly, it can exploit T-cells and other white blood cells as virus "carriers," which can be systemically delivered to target and destroy tumors. "This report by Dr. McFadden represents years of research to uncover the remarkable cancer-targeting properties of this virus," said Frank Tufaro, PhD, CEO of DNAtrix.  "It appears that myxoma virus could be especially effective in combination with T-cell-based therapies, such as CAR-T therapy and stem cell transplantation." Details of the presentation are as follows: Title: The Next Steps for Oncolytic Viral Therapies Session: 305 - Designing the Next Generation of Viral Vectors Presenter: Grant McFadden, PhD Date: May 12, 2017, 9:10 - 9:45 am About DNAtrix DNAtrix is a privately held, clinical stage, biotechnology company developing virus-driven immunotherapies for cancer. DNAtrix's lead product, DNX-2401, is a conditionally replicative oncolytic adenovirus being evaluated in clinical trials for recurrent glioblastoma, a brain cancer for which there is neither a cure nor adequate treatment. The company is backed by Morningside Ventures and Mercury Fund, and has been awarded a grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). For more information, please visit the company website at www.dnatrix.com. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/dnatrix-oncolytic-myxoma-virus-eliminates-treatment-resistant-cancer-300455939.html


AUSTIN, Texas, May 09, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aeglea BioTherapeutics, Inc., (NASDAQ:AGLE) a biotechnology company committed to developing enzyme-based therapeutics in the field of amino acid metabolism to treat rare genetic diseases and cancer, today provided a corporate update and reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017. “AEB1102 remains the primary focus of our clinical and preclinical work across rare genetic diseases and cancer,” said David G. Lowe, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Aeglea. “We are especially pleased with recent preclinical data which demonstrated that AEB1102 was not immunosuppressive in combination with anti-PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitors. We believe this opens a unique opportunity at the intersection of tumor metabolism and existing or emerging therapies in immuno-oncology.” At March 31, 2017, Aeglea had available cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities of $57.9 million. Based on Aeglea’s current operating plan, management believes that it has sufficient capital resources to fund anticipated operations through March 31, 2019. Aeglea recognized grant revenues of $1.0 million in the first quarter of 2017, compared with $0.9 million in the first quarter of 2016. The grant revenues are the result of a $19.8 million research grant received from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). The increase was primarily due to higher qualifying expenditures associated with AEB1102 for grant-related clinical trials. Research and development expenses totaled $4.9 million for the first quarter of 2017, compared with $3.6 million for the first quarter of 2016. The increase was primarily associated with hiring additional personnel to expand Aeglea’s internal regulatory, laboratory, and clinical development capabilities. General and administrative expenses totaled $2.3 million for the first quarter of 2017, compared to $1.8 million in the first quarter of 2016. This increase was primarily due to additional compensation and personnel costs, and increased costs associated with operating as a public company. Net loss totaled $6.2 million and $4.5 million for the first quarter of 2017 and 2016, respectively. Aeglea is a biotechnology company committed to developing enzyme-based therapeutics in the field of amino acid metabolism to treat rare genetic diseases and cancer. The company’s engineered human enzymes are designed to modulate the extremes of amino acid metabolism in the blood to reduce toxic levels of amino acids in inborn errors of metabolism or target tumor metabolism for cancer treatment. AEB1102, Aeglea’s lead product candidate, is currently being studied in two ongoing Phase 1 clinical trials in patients with advanced solid tumors and acute myeloid leukemia/myelodysplastic syndrome (AML/MDS). Additionally, Aeglea is recruiting patients into its ongoing Phase 1/2 trial of AEB1102 for the treatment of patients with Arginase 1 Deficiency. The company is building a pipeline of additional product candidates targeting key amino acids, including AEB4104, which degrades homocystine, a target for an inborn error of metabolism, as well as two potential treatments for cancer, AEB3103, which degrades cysteine, and its oxidized form cystine, and AEB2109, which degrades methionine. For more information, please visit http://aegleabio.com. Safe Harbor / Forward Looking Statements This press release contains "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as: "anticipate," "intend," "plan," "goal," "seek," "believe," "project," "estimate," "expect," "strategy," "future," "likely," "may," "should," "will" and similar references to future periods. These statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from what we expect. Examples of forward-looking statements include, among others, statements we make regarding our cash forecasts, the timing and success of our clinical trials and related data, success in our collaborations and the potential therapeutic benefits and economic value of our lead product candidate or other product candidates. Further information on potential risk factors that could affect our business and its financial results are detailed in our most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2017 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and other reports as filed with the SEC. We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.


AUSTIN, Texas, May 09, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aeglea BioTherapeutics, Inc., (NASDAQ:AGLE) a biotechnology company committed to developing enzyme-based therapeutics in the field of amino acid metabolism to treat rare genetic diseases and cancer, today provided a corporate update and reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017. “AEB1102 remains the primary focus of our clinical and preclinical work across rare genetic diseases and cancer,” said David G. Lowe, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Aeglea. “We are especially pleased with recent preclinical data which demonstrated that AEB1102 was not immunosuppressive in combination with anti-PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitors. We believe this opens a unique opportunity at the intersection of tumor metabolism and existing or emerging therapies in immuno-oncology.” At March 31, 2017, Aeglea had available cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities of $57.9 million. Based on Aeglea’s current operating plan, management believes that it has sufficient capital resources to fund anticipated operations through March 31, 2019. Aeglea recognized grant revenues of $1.0 million in the first quarter of 2017, compared with $0.9 million in the first quarter of 2016. The grant revenues are the result of a $19.8 million research grant received from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). The increase was primarily due to higher qualifying expenditures associated with AEB1102 for grant-related clinical trials. Research and development expenses totaled $4.9 million for the first quarter of 2017, compared with $3.6 million for the first quarter of 2016. The increase was primarily associated with hiring additional personnel to expand Aeglea’s internal regulatory, laboratory, and clinical development capabilities. General and administrative expenses totaled $2.3 million for the first quarter of 2017, compared to $1.8 million in the first quarter of 2016. This increase was primarily due to additional compensation and personnel costs, and increased costs associated with operating as a public company. Net loss totaled $6.2 million and $4.5 million for the first quarter of 2017 and 2016, respectively. Aeglea is a biotechnology company committed to developing enzyme-based therapeutics in the field of amino acid metabolism to treat rare genetic diseases and cancer. The company’s engineered human enzymes are designed to modulate the extremes of amino acid metabolism in the blood to reduce toxic levels of amino acids in inborn errors of metabolism or target tumor metabolism for cancer treatment. AEB1102, Aeglea’s lead product candidate, is currently being studied in two ongoing Phase 1 clinical trials in patients with advanced solid tumors and acute myeloid leukemia/myelodysplastic syndrome (AML/MDS). Additionally, Aeglea is recruiting patients into its ongoing Phase 1/2 trial of AEB1102 for the treatment of patients with Arginase 1 Deficiency. The company is building a pipeline of additional product candidates targeting key amino acids, including AEB4104, which degrades homocystine, a target for an inborn error of metabolism, as well as two potential treatments for cancer, AEB3103, which degrades cysteine, and its oxidized form cystine, and AEB2109, which degrades methionine. For more information, please visit http://aegleabio.com. Safe Harbor / Forward Looking Statements This press release contains "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as: "anticipate," "intend," "plan," "goal," "seek," "believe," "project," "estimate," "expect," "strategy," "future," "likely," "may," "should," "will" and similar references to future periods. These statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from what we expect. Examples of forward-looking statements include, among others, statements we make regarding our cash forecasts, the timing and success of our clinical trials and related data, success in our collaborations and the potential therapeutic benefits and economic value of our lead product candidate or other product candidates. Further information on potential risk factors that could affect our business and its financial results are detailed in our most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2017 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and other reports as filed with the SEC. We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.


AUSTIN, Texas, May 09, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aeglea BioTherapeutics, Inc., (NASDAQ:AGLE) a biotechnology company committed to developing enzyme-based therapeutics in the field of amino acid metabolism to treat rare genetic diseases and cancer, today provided a corporate update and reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017. “AEB1102 remains the primary focus of our clinical and preclinical work across rare genetic diseases and cancer,” said David G. Lowe, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Aeglea. “We are especially pleased with recent preclinical data which demonstrated that AEB1102 was not immunosuppressive in combination with anti-PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitors. We believe this opens a unique opportunity at the intersection of tumor metabolism and existing or emerging therapies in immuno-oncology.” At March 31, 2017, Aeglea had available cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities of $57.9 million. Based on Aeglea’s current operating plan, management believes that it has sufficient capital resources to fund anticipated operations through March 31, 2019. Aeglea recognized grant revenues of $1.0 million in the first quarter of 2017, compared with $0.9 million in the first quarter of 2016. The grant revenues are the result of a $19.8 million research grant received from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). The increase was primarily due to higher qualifying expenditures associated with AEB1102 for grant-related clinical trials. Research and development expenses totaled $4.9 million for the first quarter of 2017, compared with $3.6 million for the first quarter of 2016. The increase was primarily associated with hiring additional personnel to expand Aeglea’s internal regulatory, laboratory, and clinical development capabilities. General and administrative expenses totaled $2.3 million for the first quarter of 2017, compared to $1.8 million in the first quarter of 2016. This increase was primarily due to additional compensation and personnel costs, and increased costs associated with operating as a public company. Net loss totaled $6.2 million and $4.5 million for the first quarter of 2017 and 2016, respectively. Aeglea is a biotechnology company committed to developing enzyme-based therapeutics in the field of amino acid metabolism to treat rare genetic diseases and cancer. The company’s engineered human enzymes are designed to modulate the extremes of amino acid metabolism in the blood to reduce toxic levels of amino acids in inborn errors of metabolism or target tumor metabolism for cancer treatment. AEB1102, Aeglea’s lead product candidate, is currently being studied in two ongoing Phase 1 clinical trials in patients with advanced solid tumors and acute myeloid leukemia/myelodysplastic syndrome (AML/MDS). Additionally, Aeglea is recruiting patients into its ongoing Phase 1/2 trial of AEB1102 for the treatment of patients with Arginase 1 Deficiency. The company is building a pipeline of additional product candidates targeting key amino acids, including AEB4104, which degrades homocystine, a target for an inborn error of metabolism, as well as two potential treatments for cancer, AEB3103, which degrades cysteine, and its oxidized form cystine, and AEB2109, which degrades methionine. For more information, please visit http://aegleabio.com. Safe Harbor / Forward Looking Statements This press release contains "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as: "anticipate," "intend," "plan," "goal," "seek," "believe," "project," "estimate," "expect," "strategy," "future," "likely," "may," "should," "will" and similar references to future periods. These statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from what we expect. Examples of forward-looking statements include, among others, statements we make regarding our cash forecasts, the timing and success of our clinical trials and related data, success in our collaborations and the potential therapeutic benefits and economic value of our lead product candidate or other product candidates. Further information on potential risk factors that could affect our business and its financial results are detailed in our most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2017 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and other reports as filed with the SEC. We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.


AUSTIN, Texas, May 09, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aeglea BioTherapeutics, Inc., (NASDAQ:AGLE) a biotechnology company committed to developing enzyme-based therapeutics in the field of amino acid metabolism to treat rare genetic diseases and cancer, today provided a corporate update and reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017. “AEB1102 remains the primary focus of our clinical and preclinical work across rare genetic diseases and cancer,” said David G. Lowe, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Aeglea. “We are especially pleased with recent preclinical data which demonstrated that AEB1102 was not immunosuppressive in combination with anti-PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitors. We believe this opens a unique opportunity at the intersection of tumor metabolism and existing or emerging therapies in immuno-oncology.” At March 31, 2017, Aeglea had available cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities of $57.9 million. Based on Aeglea’s current operating plan, management believes that it has sufficient capital resources to fund anticipated operations through March 31, 2019. Aeglea recognized grant revenues of $1.0 million in the first quarter of 2017, compared with $0.9 million in the first quarter of 2016. The grant revenues are the result of a $19.8 million research grant received from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). The increase was primarily due to higher qualifying expenditures associated with AEB1102 for grant-related clinical trials. Research and development expenses totaled $4.9 million for the first quarter of 2017, compared with $3.6 million for the first quarter of 2016. The increase was primarily associated with hiring additional personnel to expand Aeglea’s internal regulatory, laboratory, and clinical development capabilities. General and administrative expenses totaled $2.3 million for the first quarter of 2017, compared to $1.8 million in the first quarter of 2016. This increase was primarily due to additional compensation and personnel costs, and increased costs associated with operating as a public company. Net loss totaled $6.2 million and $4.5 million for the first quarter of 2017 and 2016, respectively. Aeglea is a biotechnology company committed to developing enzyme-based therapeutics in the field of amino acid metabolism to treat rare genetic diseases and cancer. The company’s engineered human enzymes are designed to modulate the extremes of amino acid metabolism in the blood to reduce toxic levels of amino acids in inborn errors of metabolism or target tumor metabolism for cancer treatment. AEB1102, Aeglea’s lead product candidate, is currently being studied in two ongoing Phase 1 clinical trials in patients with advanced solid tumors and acute myeloid leukemia/myelodysplastic syndrome (AML/MDS). Additionally, Aeglea is recruiting patients into its ongoing Phase 1/2 trial of AEB1102 for the treatment of patients with Arginase 1 Deficiency. The company is building a pipeline of additional product candidates targeting key amino acids, including AEB4104, which degrades homocystine, a target for an inborn error of metabolism, as well as two potential treatments for cancer, AEB3103, which degrades cysteine, and its oxidized form cystine, and AEB2109, which degrades methionine. For more information, please visit http://aegleabio.com. Safe Harbor / Forward Looking Statements This press release contains "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as: "anticipate," "intend," "plan," "goal," "seek," "believe," "project," "estimate," "expect," "strategy," "future," "likely," "may," "should," "will" and similar references to future periods. These statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from what we expect. Examples of forward-looking statements include, among others, statements we make regarding our cash forecasts, the timing and success of our clinical trials and related data, success in our collaborations and the potential therapeutic benefits and economic value of our lead product candidate or other product candidates. Further information on potential risk factors that could affect our business and its financial results are detailed in our most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2017 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and other reports as filed with the SEC. We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.


AUSTIN, Texas, May 09, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aeglea BioTherapeutics, Inc., (NASDAQ:AGLE) a biotechnology company committed to developing enzyme-based therapeutics in the field of amino acid metabolism to treat rare genetic diseases and cancer, today provided a corporate update and reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017. “AEB1102 remains the primary focus of our clinical and preclinical work across rare genetic diseases and cancer,” said David G. Lowe, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Aeglea. “We are especially pleased with recent preclinical data which demonstrated that AEB1102 was not immunosuppressive in combination with anti-PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitors. We believe this opens a unique opportunity at the intersection of tumor metabolism and existing or emerging therapies in immuno-oncology.” At March 31, 2017, Aeglea had available cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities of $57.9 million. Based on Aeglea’s current operating plan, management believes that it has sufficient capital resources to fund anticipated operations through March 31, 2019. Aeglea recognized grant revenues of $1.0 million in the first quarter of 2017, compared with $0.9 million in the first quarter of 2016. The grant revenues are the result of a $19.8 million research grant received from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). The increase was primarily due to higher qualifying expenditures associated with AEB1102 for grant-related clinical trials. Research and development expenses totaled $4.9 million for the first quarter of 2017, compared with $3.6 million for the first quarter of 2016. The increase was primarily associated with hiring additional personnel to expand Aeglea’s internal regulatory, laboratory, and clinical development capabilities. General and administrative expenses totaled $2.3 million for the first quarter of 2017, compared to $1.8 million in the first quarter of 2016. This increase was primarily due to additional compensation and personnel costs, and increased costs associated with operating as a public company. Net loss totaled $6.2 million and $4.5 million for the first quarter of 2017 and 2016, respectively. Aeglea is a biotechnology company committed to developing enzyme-based therapeutics in the field of amino acid metabolism to treat rare genetic diseases and cancer. The company’s engineered human enzymes are designed to modulate the extremes of amino acid metabolism in the blood to reduce toxic levels of amino acids in inborn errors of metabolism or target tumor metabolism for cancer treatment. AEB1102, Aeglea’s lead product candidate, is currently being studied in two ongoing Phase 1 clinical trials in patients with advanced solid tumors and acute myeloid leukemia/myelodysplastic syndrome (AML/MDS). Additionally, Aeglea is recruiting patients into its ongoing Phase 1/2 trial of AEB1102 for the treatment of patients with Arginase 1 Deficiency. The company is building a pipeline of additional product candidates targeting key amino acids, including AEB4104, which degrades homocystine, a target for an inborn error of metabolism, as well as two potential treatments for cancer, AEB3103, which degrades cysteine, and its oxidized form cystine, and AEB2109, which degrades methionine. For more information, please visit http://aegleabio.com. Safe Harbor / Forward Looking Statements This press release contains "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as: "anticipate," "intend," "plan," "goal," "seek," "believe," "project," "estimate," "expect," "strategy," "future," "likely," "may," "should," "will" and similar references to future periods. These statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from what we expect. Examples of forward-looking statements include, among others, statements we make regarding our cash forecasts, the timing and success of our clinical trials and related data, success in our collaborations and the potential therapeutic benefits and economic value of our lead product candidate or other product candidates. Further information on potential risk factors that could affect our business and its financial results are detailed in our most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2017 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and other reports as filed with the SEC. We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.


News Article | May 11, 2017
Site: marketersmedia.com

Heat to Double-Down on Checkpoint Combination Therapies Based on Positive Interim Data of HS-110+PD-1 Checkpoint in Lung Cancer; Acquires Pelican Therapeutics Which Brings with it a $15.2 Million CPRIT Grant to Fund 70 Patient Trial, Greatly Expanding Therapeutic Reach DURHAM, NC / ACCESSWIRE / May 11, 2017 / Heat Biologics, Inc. ("Heat") (NASDAQ: HTBX), a leader in the development of novel therapies designed to activate a patient's immune system against cancer, today provided a business and clinical update for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017. During the first quarter, Heat announced a number of major developments. First, it met the safety and efficacy endpoints in its Phase 1b lung cancer trial evaluating HS-110 in combination with Bristol-Myers Squibb's anti-PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor, nivolumab (Opdivo®), enabling it to progress to Phase 2 clinical trials. Preliminary data suggests Heat's therapeutic vaccine has the potential to significantly expand the percentage of patients responding to checkpoint inhibitors by increasing T cell activity within the tumor, thereby converting "cold'' tumors into "hot" tumors. "We are encouraged by these results, showing signs of synergistic efficacy with nivolumab," said Jeff Wolf, Heat's founder and CEO. "Patients with increased levels of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) at 10 weeks saw a durable benefit, with 75% (6 out of 8 of these patients) alive at the one-year follow-up point. Additionally, 60% of the patients (3 of the 5 patients) exhibiting low TIL experienced significant tumor reduction, which compares favorably to the 10% response rate of low TIL patients reported for existing data on nivolumab alone." Researchers reported a strong correlation between T cell activation, tumor reductions and increased overall survival in the 12 of the 15 patients that were evaluable for ELISPOT analysis. Importantly, the timing of immune responses to HS-110 corresponded to the timing of observed clinical responses, and those responses appear to be sustained. Mr. Wolf continued, "While checkpoint inhibitors have transformed the landscape in the fight against cancer, they are only effective as a monotherapy in a small minority of patients. Our approach has the potential to dramatically increase the response rate in the majority of patients who don't respond to checkpoint therapy alone. As a result of the encouraging data in our checkpoint combination trials and the positive response from within the industry, we are now prioritizing combination therapies, with a particular emphasis on checkpoint inhibitors and T cell co-stimulators. As a result, we are discontinuing programs where we do not see an opportunity to immediately combine with checkpoints, such as our non-muscle invasive bladder cancer program, and will instead reallocate those resources to fund current and future checkpoint and T cell co-stimulator combination programs." Heat recently completed the acquisition of Pelican Therapeutics, whose product candidates strengthen its portfolio in the emerging T cell activation space. Pelican's approach has the potential to improve the durability of responses in combination with Heat's vaccine platform, as well as others, by stimulating the production of "memory" CD8+ T cells, as supported by pre-clinical data. This acquisition also brings with it a $15.2 million grant awarded by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) to advance multiple products through preclinical development and at least one program through a 70-patient Phase 1 clinical trial. "We believe our growing franchise in immuno-oncology and activating cytotoxic T cells places us in a unique position at the core of future combination therapies," Wolf said. "We plan to continue to remain at the forefront in the development of exciting new therapies to activate T cells as part of a broad-based combination approach against cancer." Heat ended the quarter with over $11 million in cash, and $15 million in non-dilutive grant funding through Pelican. In April 2017, Heat acquired an 80% controlling interest in Pelican Therapeutics, Inc. As of the acquisition date, Pelican is structured as a subsidiary to Heat focused on developing agonists to TNFRSF25, a highly differentiated and potentially "best-in-class" T cell costimulatory receptor. Pelican was the recipient of a highly-competitive $15.2 million New Company Product Development Award from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), which will enable the Company to advance multiple products through preclinical development and at least one program through a 70-patient Phase 1 clinical trial. In April 2017, Heat presented new preclinical data from its collaboration with OncoSec Medical Incorporated at the AACR Annual Meeting. Results suggested that combining ComPACT DNA electroporation and cellular vaccination led to increased tumor antigen-specific CD8+ T cells, delayed tumor progression, and improved overall survival in preclinical models. The data demonstrated possible synergistic benefits of vaccination plus intratumoral injection. In March 2017, Heat reported positive interim results from its Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating HS-110 in combination with Bristol-Myers Squibb's anti-PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor, nivolumab (Opdivo®), for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Fifteen patients had completed the HS-110/nivolumab combination to-date and 12 of these 15 patients were evaluable for ELISPOT analysis. ELISPOT results suggest that HS-110 plays an integral role in tumor reduction and may enhance efficacy of checkpoint inhibitors in lung cancer patients. In March 2017, Heat announced that Natasa Strbo, M.D., D.Sc., Research Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, received a three-year $981,901 grant from the Florida Department of Health 2016-17 Zika Research Grant Initiative to further develop and test gp96-based Zika vaccine. This vaccine is being developed under a collaboration between the University of Miami and Heat's wholly-owned subsidiary, Zolovax, Inc., which has licensed the intellectual property from the University of Miami. In March 2017, Heat announced that it had achieved the safety and efficacy endpoints for its Phase 1b trial evaluating HS-110 in combination with nivolumab for the treatment of NSCLC and that the trial met the expansion criteria to advance into a Phase 2. Five out of 15 patients treated with the HS-110/nivolumab combination had 20% or greater tumor reduction. Patients with increased levels of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) at 10 weeks appeared to have a durable benefit, with six out of eight of these patients (75%) alive at the one-year follow-up point. In January 2017, Heat announced the appointment of Jeff Hutchins, Ph.D., as its Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President of Preclinical Development. Dr. Hutchins brings over 24 years of research and clinical development experience from both large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Research and development expenses decreased to approximately $1.9 million in the first quarter of 2017 from $3.7 million in the first quarter of 2016, a decrease of $1.8 million. The decrease is attributable to reductions in clinical trial costs, professional and consulting fees, personnel-related expenses, travel, and other costs. General and administrative expenses increased to $1.5 million in the first quarter of 2017 from $1.0 million in the first quarter of 2016, an increase of $0.5 million. The increase is attributable to professional services and third-party expenses related to the acquisition of Pelican. Net loss for the first quarter of 2017 was $3.2 million, compared to a net loss of $4.7 million for the first quarter of 2016. Cash and cash equivalents totaled approximately $11.1 million at March 31, 2017, compared to $7.8 million at December 31, 2016. Through the acquisition of Pelican, the Company also has access to a $15.2 million grand from CPRIT, which will enable it to advance multiple products through preclinical development and at least one program through a 70-patient Phase 1 clinical trial. Heat Biologics, Inc. (NASDAQ: HTBX) is an immuno-oncology company developing novel therapies that are designed to activate a patient's immune system against cancer. Heat has generated highly specific T cell-stimulating therapeutic vaccine platform technologies, ImPACT and ComPACT. These technologies, in combination with other therapies, such as checkpoint inhibitors, are designed to address three distinct but synergistic mechanisms of action: robust activation of CD8+ "killer" T cells (one of the human immune system's most potent weapons against cancer); reversal of tumor-induced immune suppression; and T cell co-stimulation to further enhance patients' immune response. Currently, Heat is conducting a Phase 2 trial with HS-110 (viagenpumatucel-L) in combination with an anti-PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor to treat patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Most recently, Heat acquired two T cell costimulators through the acquisition of Pelican Therapeutics, a subsidiary to Heat focused on developing agonists to TNFRSF25, a highly differentiated and potentially best-in-class T cell costimulatory receptor. TNFRSF25 has shown great promise due to its preferential specificity for stimulating the production of "memory" CD8+ T cells, the strongest predictive biomarker of clinical benefit from cancer immunotherapy. T cell costimulatory therapy, when combined with checkpoint inhibitors and other treatments, could significantly improve clinical responses for a broader range of patients. Pelican has conducted extensive preclinical studies and completed humanization of its lead monoclonal antibody, PTX-25. Heat's wholly-owned subsidiary, Zolovax, Inc., is developing therapeutic and preventative vaccines to treat infectious diseases based on Heat's gp96 vaccine technology, with a current focus on the development of a Zika vaccine in conjunction with the University of Miami. For more information, please visit www.heatbio.com. This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 on our current expectations and projections about future events. In some cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as "may," "should," "potential," "continue," "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "plans," "believes," "estimates," and similar expressions. These statements are based upon current beliefs, expectations and assumptions and include statements regarding preliminary data suggesting that Heat's therapeutic vaccine has the potential to significantly expand the percentage of patients responding to checkpoint inhibitors by increasing T cell activity within the tumor, thereby converting "cold'' tumors into "hot" tumors, Heat's approach having the potential to dramatically increase the response rate in the majority of patients who don't respond to checkpoint inhibitors, TNFRSF25, being a highly differentiated and potentially "best-in-class" T cell costimulatory receptor, T cell costimulatory therapy, when combined with checkpoint inhibitors and other treatments, could significantly improve clinical responses for a broader range of patients, Pelican's approach having the potential to dramatically improve the durability of responses in combination with Heat's vaccine platform, as well as others, by stimulating the production of "memory" CD8+ T cells, as supported by pre-clinical data, Heat's plan to continue to remain at the forefront in the development of exciting new therapies to activate T cells as part of a broad based combination approach against cancer, Heat's growing franchise in immuno-oncology and activating cytotoxic t-cells placing it in a unique position at the core of future combination therapies, results of the collaboration with OncoSec Medical Incorporated suggesting that the combination of ComPACT DNA electroporation and cellular vaccination led to increased tumor antigen-specific CD8+ T cells, delayed tumor progression and improved overall survival in preclinical models and the data demonstrating possible synergistic benefits of vaccination plus intratumoral injection ELISPOT results suggesting that HS-110 plays an integral role in tumor reduction and may enhance efficacy of checkpoint inhibitors in lung cancer patients, and the New Company Product Development Award from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), enabling Pelican to advance multiple products through preclinical development and at least one program through a 70-patient Phase 1 clinical trial. These statements are based on management's expectations and assumptions as of the date of this press release and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict that could cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations and assumptions from those set forth or implied by any forward-looking statements, including the ability of Heat's ImPACT and ComPACT therapies to perform as designed, to demonstrate safety and efficacy, as well as results that are consistent with prior results, the ability to enroll patients and complete the clinical trials on time and achieve desired results and benefits, the company's ability to obtain regulatory approvals for commercialization of product candidates or to comply with ongoing regulatory requirements, regulatory limitations relating to the company's ability to promote or commercialize its product candidates for specific indications, acceptance of its product candidates in the marketplace and the successful development, marketing or sale of products, Heat's ability to maintain its license agreements, the continued maintenance and growth of its patent estate, its ability to establish and maintain collaborations, its ability to obtain or maintain the capital or grants necessary to fund its research and development activities, and its ability to retain its key scientists or management personnel, its ability to successfully integrate Pelican and the other factors described in the company's most recent annual report on Form 10-K and other filings with the SEC. The information in this release is provided only as of the date of this release and the company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this release based on new information, future events, or otherwise, except as required by law. Heat Biologics, Inc. Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations (In thousands, except share and per share data) (Unaudited) Net loss per share attributable to Heat Biologics, Inc. in net loss per share calculation - basic and diluted Heat to Double-Down on Checkpoint Combination Therapies Based on Positive Interim Data of HS-110+PD-1 Checkpoint in Lung Cancer; Acquires Pelican Therapeutics Which Brings with it a $15.2 Million CPRIT Grant to Fund 70 Patient Trial, Greatly Expanding Therapeutic Reach DURHAM, NC / ACCESSWIRE / May 11, 2017 / Heat Biologics, Inc. ("Heat") (NASDAQ: HTBX), a leader in the development of novel therapies designed to activate a patient's immune system against cancer, today provided a business and clinical update for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017. During the first quarter, Heat announced a number of major developments. First, it met the safety and efficacy endpoints in its Phase 1b lung cancer trial evaluating HS-110 in combination with Bristol-Myers Squibb's anti-PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor, nivolumab (Opdivo®), enabling it to progress to Phase 2 clinical trials. Preliminary data suggests Heat's therapeutic vaccine has the potential to significantly expand the percentage of patients responding to checkpoint inhibitors by increasing T cell activity within the tumor, thereby converting "cold'' tumors into "hot" tumors. "We are encouraged by these results, showing signs of synergistic efficacy with nivolumab," said Jeff Wolf, Heat's founder and CEO. "Patients with increased levels of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) at 10 weeks saw a durable benefit, with 75% (6 out of 8 of these patients) alive at the one-year follow-up point. Additionally, 60% of the patients (3 of the 5 patients) exhibiting low TIL experienced significant tumor reduction, which compares favorably to the 10% response rate of low TIL patients reported for existing data on nivolumab alone." Researchers reported a strong correlation between T cell activation, tumor reductions and increased overall survival in the 12 of the 15 patients that were evaluable for ELISPOT analysis. Importantly, the timing of immune responses to HS-110 corresponded to the timing of observed clinical responses, and those responses appear to be sustained. Mr. Wolf continued, "While checkpoint inhibitors have transformed the landscape in the fight against cancer, they are only effective as a monotherapy in a small minority of patients. Our approach has the potential to dramatically increase the response rate in the majority of patients who don't respond to checkpoint therapy alone. As a result of the encouraging data in our checkpoint combination trials and the positive response from within the industry, we are now prioritizing combination therapies, with a particular emphasis on checkpoint inhibitors and T cell co-stimulators. As a result, we are discontinuing programs where we do not see an opportunity to immediately combine with checkpoints, such as our non-muscle invasive bladder cancer program, and will instead reallocate those resources to fund current and future checkpoint and T cell co-stimulator combination programs." Heat recently completed the acquisition of Pelican Therapeutics, whose product candidates strengthen its portfolio in the emerging T cell activation space. Pelican's approach has the potential to improve the durability of responses in combination with Heat's vaccine platform, as well as others, by stimulating the production of "memory" CD8+ T cells, as supported by pre-clinical data. This acquisition also brings with it a $15.2 million grant awarded by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) to advance multiple products through preclinical development and at least one program through a 70-patient Phase 1 clinical trial. "We believe our growing franchise in immuno-oncology and activating cytotoxic T cells places us in a unique position at the core of future combination therapies," Wolf said. "We plan to continue to remain at the forefront in the development of exciting new therapies to activate T cells as part of a broad-based combination approach against cancer." Heat ended the quarter with over $11 million in cash, and $15 million in non-dilutive grant funding through Pelican. In April 2017, Heat acquired an 80% controlling interest in Pelican Therapeutics, Inc. As of the acquisition date, Pelican is structured as a subsidiary to Heat focused on developing agonists to TNFRSF25, a highly differentiated and potentially "best-in-class" T cell costimulatory receptor. Pelican was the recipient of a highly-competitive $15.2 million New Company Product Development Award from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), which will enable the Company to advance multiple products through preclinical development and at least one program through a 70-patient Phase 1 clinical trial. In April 2017, Heat presented new preclinical data from its collaboration with OncoSec Medical Incorporated at the AACR Annual Meeting. Results suggested that combining ComPACT DNA electroporation and cellular vaccination led to increased tumor antigen-specific CD8+ T cells, delayed tumor progression, and improved overall survival in preclinical models. The data demonstrated possible synergistic benefits of vaccination plus intratumoral injection. In March 2017, Heat reported positive interim results from its Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating HS-110 in combination with Bristol-Myers Squibb's anti-PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor, nivolumab (Opdivo®), for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Fifteen patients had completed the HS-110/nivolumab combination to-date and 12 of these 15 patients were evaluable for ELISPOT analysis. ELISPOT results suggest that HS-110 plays an integral role in tumor reduction and may enhance efficacy of checkpoint inhibitors in lung cancer patients. In March 2017, Heat announced that Natasa Strbo, M.D., D.Sc., Research Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, received a three-year $981,901 grant from the Florida Department of Health 2016-17 Zika Research Grant Initiative to further develop and test gp96-based Zika vaccine. This vaccine is being developed under a collaboration between the University of Miami and Heat's wholly-owned subsidiary, Zolovax, Inc., which has licensed the intellectual property from the University of Miami. In March 2017, Heat announced that it had achieved the safety and efficacy endpoints for its Phase 1b trial evaluating HS-110 in combination with nivolumab for the treatment of NSCLC and that the trial met the expansion criteria to advance into a Phase 2. Five out of 15 patients treated with the HS-110/nivolumab combination had 20% or greater tumor reduction. Patients with increased levels of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) at 10 weeks appeared to have a durable benefit, with six out of eight of these patients (75%) alive at the one-year follow-up point. In January 2017, Heat announced the appointment of Jeff Hutchins, Ph.D., as its Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President of Preclinical Development. Dr. Hutchins brings over 24 years of research and clinical development experience from both large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Research and development expenses decreased to approximately $1.9 million in the first quarter of 2017 from $3.7 million in the first quarter of 2016, a decrease of $1.8 million. The decrease is attributable to reductions in clinical trial costs, professional and consulting fees, personnel-related expenses, travel, and other costs. General and administrative expenses increased to $1.5 million in the first quarter of 2017 from $1.0 million in the first quarter of 2016, an increase of $0.5 million. The increase is attributable to professional services and third-party expenses related to the acquisition of Pelican. Net loss for the first quarter of 2017 was $3.2 million, compared to a net loss of $4.7 million for the first quarter of 2016. Cash and cash equivalents totaled approximately $11.1 million at March 31, 2017, compared to $7.8 million at December 31, 2016. Through the acquisition of Pelican, the Company also has access to a $15.2 million grand from CPRIT, which will enable it to advance multiple products through preclinical development and at least one program through a 70-patient Phase 1 clinical trial. Heat Biologics, Inc. (NASDAQ: HTBX) is an immuno-oncology company developing novel therapies that are designed to activate a patient's immune system against cancer. Heat has generated highly specific T cell-stimulating therapeutic vaccine platform technologies, ImPACT and ComPACT. These technologies, in combination with other therapies, such as checkpoint inhibitors, are designed to address three distinct but synergistic mechanisms of action: robust activation of CD8+ "killer" T cells (one of the human immune system's most potent weapons against cancer); reversal of tumor-induced immune suppression; and T cell co-stimulation to further enhance patients' immune response. Currently, Heat is conducting a Phase 2 trial with HS-110 (viagenpumatucel-L) in combination with an anti-PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor to treat patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Most recently, Heat acquired two T cell costimulators through the acquisition of Pelican Therapeutics, a subsidiary to Heat focused on developing agonists to TNFRSF25, a highly differentiated and potentially best-in-class T cell costimulatory receptor. TNFRSF25 has shown great promise due to its preferential specificity for stimulating the production of "memory" CD8+ T cells, the strongest predictive biomarker of clinical benefit from cancer immunotherapy. T cell costimulatory therapy, when combined with checkpoint inhibitors and other treatments, could significantly improve clinical responses for a broader range of patients. Pelican has conducted extensive preclinical studies and completed humanization of its lead monoclonal antibody, PTX-25. Heat's wholly-owned subsidiary, Zolovax, Inc., is developing therapeutic and preventative vaccines to treat infectious diseases based on Heat's gp96 vaccine technology, with a current focus on the development of a Zika vaccine in conjunction with the University of Miami. For more information, please visit www.heatbio.com. This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 on our current expectations and projections about future events. In some cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as "may," "should," "potential," "continue," "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "plans," "believes," "estimates," and similar expressions. These statements are based upon current beliefs, expectations and assumptions and include statements regarding preliminary data suggesting that Heat's therapeutic vaccine has the potential to significantly expand the percentage of patients responding to checkpoint inhibitors by increasing T cell activity within the tumor, thereby converting "cold'' tumors into "hot" tumors, Heat's approach having the potential to dramatically increase the response rate in the majority of patients who don't respond to checkpoint inhibitors, TNFRSF25, being a highly differentiated and potentially "best-in-class" T cell costimulatory receptor, T cell costimulatory therapy, when combined with checkpoint inhibitors and other treatments, could significantly improve clinical responses for a broader range of patients, Pelican's approach having the potential to dramatically improve the durability of responses in combination with Heat's vaccine platform, as well as others, by stimulating the production of "memory" CD8+ T cells, as supported by pre-clinical data, Heat's plan to continue to remain at the forefront in the development of exciting new therapies to activate T cells as part of a broad based combination approach against cancer, Heat's growing franchise in immuno-oncology and activating cytotoxic t-cells placing it in a unique position at the core of future combination therapies, results of the collaboration with OncoSec Medical Incorporated suggesting that the combination of ComPACT DNA electroporation and cellular vaccination led to increased tumor antigen-specific CD8+ T cells, delayed tumor progression and improved overall survival in preclinical models and the data demonstrating possible synergistic benefits of vaccination plus intratumoral injection ELISPOT results suggesting that HS-110 plays an integral role in tumor reduction and may enhance efficacy of checkpoint inhibitors in lung cancer patients, and the New Company Product Development Award from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), enabling Pelican to advance multiple products through preclinical development and at least one program through a 70-patient Phase 1 clinical trial. These statements are based on management's expectations and assumptions as of the date of this press release and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict that could cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations and assumptions from those set forth or implied by any forward-looking statements, including the ability of Heat's ImPACT and ComPACT therapies to perform as designed, to demonstrate safety and efficacy, as well as results that are consistent with prior results, the ability to enroll patients and complete the clinical trials on time and achieve desired results and benefits, the company's ability to obtain regulatory approvals for commercialization of product candidates or to comply with ongoing regulatory requirements, regulatory limitations relating to the company's ability to promote or commercialize its product candidates for specific indications, acceptance of its product candidates in the marketplace and the successful development, marketing or sale of products, Heat's ability to maintain its license agreements, the continued maintenance and growth of its patent estate, its ability to establish and maintain collaborations, its ability to obtain or maintain the capital or grants necessary to fund its research and development activities, and its ability to retain its key scientists or management personnel, its ability to successfully integrate Pelican and the other factors described in the company's most recent annual report on Form 10-K and other filings with the SEC. The information in this release is provided only as of the date of this release and the company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this release based on new information, future events, or otherwise, except as required by law. Heat Biologics, Inc. Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations (In thousands, except share and per share data) (Unaudited) Net loss per share attributable to Heat Biologics, Inc. in net loss per share calculation - basic and diluted


News Article | May 11, 2017
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Heat to Double-Down on Checkpoint Combination Therapies Based on Positive Interim Data of HS-110+PD-1 Checkpoint in Lung Cancer; Acquires Pelican Therapeutics Which Brings with it a $15.2 Million CPRIT Grant to Fund 70 Patient Trial, Greatly Expanding Therapeutic Reach DURHAM, NC / ACCESSWIRE / May 11, 2017 / Heat Biologics, Inc. ("Heat") (NASDAQ: HTBX), a leader in the development of novel therapies designed to activate a patient's immune system against cancer, today provided a business and clinical update for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017. During the first quarter, Heat announced a number of major developments. First, it met the safety and efficacy endpoints in its Phase 1b lung cancer trial evaluating HS-110 in combination with Bristol-Myers Squibb's anti-PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor, nivolumab (Opdivo®), enabling it to progress to Phase 2 clinical trials. Preliminary data suggests Heat's therapeutic vaccine has the potential to significantly expand the percentage of patients responding to checkpoint inhibitors by increasing T cell activity within the tumor, thereby converting "cold'' tumors into "hot" tumors. "We are encouraged by these results, showing signs of synergistic efficacy with nivolumab," said Jeff Wolf, Heat's founder and CEO. "Patients with increased levels of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) at 10 weeks saw a durable benefit, with 75% (6 out of 8 of these patients) alive at the one-year follow-up point. Additionally, 60% of the patients (3 of the 5 patients) exhibiting low TIL experienced significant tumor reduction, which compares favorably to the 10% response rate of low TIL patients reported for existing data on nivolumab alone." Researchers reported a strong correlation between T cell activation, tumor reductions and increased overall survival in the 12 of the 15 patients that were evaluable for ELISPOT analysis. Importantly, the timing of immune responses to HS-110 corresponded to the timing of observed clinical responses, and those responses appear to be sustained. Mr. Wolf continued, "While checkpoint inhibitors have transformed the landscape in the fight against cancer, they are only effective as a monotherapy in a small minority of patients. Our approach has the potential to dramatically increase the response rate in the majority of patients who don't respond to checkpoint therapy alone. As a result of the encouraging data in our checkpoint combination trials and the positive response from within the industry, we are now prioritizing combination therapies, with a particular emphasis on checkpoint inhibitors and T cell co-stimulators. As a result, we are discontinuing programs where we do not see an opportunity to immediately combine with checkpoints, such as our non-muscle invasive bladder cancer program, and will instead reallocate those resources to fund current and future checkpoint and T cell co-stimulator combination programs." Heat recently completed the acquisition of Pelican Therapeutics, whose product candidates strengthen its portfolio in the emerging T cell activation space. Pelican's approach has the potential to improve the durability of responses in combination with Heat's vaccine platform, as well as others, by stimulating the production of "memory" CD8+ T cells, as supported by pre-clinical data. This acquisition also brings with it a $15.2 million grant awarded by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) to advance multiple products through preclinical development and at least one program through a 70-patient Phase 1 clinical trial. "We believe our growing franchise in immuno-oncology and activating cytotoxic T cells places us in a unique position at the core of future combination therapies," Wolf said. "We plan to continue to remain at the forefront in the development of exciting new therapies to activate T cells as part of a broad-based combination approach against cancer." Heat ended the quarter with over $11 million in cash, and $15 million in non-dilutive grant funding through Pelican. Heat Biologics, Inc. (NASDAQ: HTBX) is an immuno-oncology company developing novel therapies that are designed to activate a patient's immune system against cancer. Heat has generated highly specific T cell-stimulating therapeutic vaccine platform technologies, ImPACT and ComPACT. These technologies, in combination with other therapies, such as checkpoint inhibitors, are designed to address three distinct but synergistic mechanisms of action: robust activation of CD8+ "killer" T cells (one of the human immune system's most potent weapons against cancer); reversal of tumor-induced immune suppression; and T cell co-stimulation to further enhance patients' immune response. Currently, Heat is conducting a Phase 2 trial with HS-110 (viagenpumatucel-L) in combination with an anti-PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor to treat patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Most recently, Heat acquired two T cell costimulators through the acquisition of Pelican Therapeutics, a subsidiary to Heat focused on developing agonists to TNFRSF25, a highly differentiated and potentially best-in-class T cell costimulatory receptor. TNFRSF25 has shown great promise due to its preferential specificity for stimulating the production of "memory" CD8+ T cells, the strongest predictive biomarker of clinical benefit from cancer immunotherapy. T cell costimulatory therapy, when combined with checkpoint inhibitors and other treatments, could significantly improve clinical responses for a broader range of patients. Pelican has conducted extensive preclinical studies and completed humanization of its lead monoclonal antibody, PTX-25. Heat's wholly-owned subsidiary, Zolovax, Inc., is developing therapeutic and preventative vaccines to treat infectious diseases based on Heat's gp96 vaccine technology, with a current focus on the development of a Zika vaccine in conjunction with the University of Miami. For more information, please visit www.heatbio.com. This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 on our current expectations and projections about future events. In some cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as "may," "should," "potential," "continue," "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "plans," "believes," "estimates," and similar expressions. These statements are based upon current beliefs, expectations and assumptions and include statements regarding preliminary data suggesting that Heat's therapeutic vaccine has the potential to significantly expand the percentage of patients responding to checkpoint inhibitors by increasing T cell activity within the tumor, thereby converting "cold'' tumors into "hot" tumors, Heat's approach having the potential to dramatically increase the response rate in the majority of patients who don't respond to checkpoint inhibitors, TNFRSF25, being a highly differentiated and potentially "best-in-class" T cell costimulatory receptor, T cell costimulatory therapy, when combined with checkpoint inhibitors and other treatments, could significantly improve clinical responses for a broader range of patients, Pelican's approach having the potential to dramatically improve the durability of responses in combination with Heat's vaccine platform, as well as others, by stimulating the production of "memory" CD8+ T cells, as supported by pre-clinical data, Heat's plan to continue to remain at the forefront in the development of exciting new therapies to activate T cells as part of a broad based combination approach against cancer, Heat's growing franchise in immuno-oncology and activating cytotoxic t-cells placing it in a unique position at the core of future combination therapies, results of the collaboration with OncoSec Medical Incorporated suggesting that the combination of ComPACT DNA electroporation and cellular vaccination led to increased tumor antigen-specific CD8+ T cells, delayed tumor progression and improved overall survival in preclinical models and the data demonstrating possible synergistic benefits of vaccination plus intratumoral injection ELISPOT results suggesting that HS-110 plays an integral role in tumor reduction and may enhance efficacy of checkpoint inhibitors in lung cancer patients, and the New Company Product Development Award from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), enabling Pelican to advance multiple products through preclinical development and at least one program through a 70-patient Phase 1 clinical trial. These statements are based on management's expectations and assumptions as of the date of this press release and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict that could cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations and assumptions from those set forth or implied by any forward-looking statements, including the ability of Heat's ImPACT and ComPACT therapies to perform as designed, to demonstrate safety and efficacy, as well as results that are consistent with prior results, the ability to enroll patients and complete the clinical trials on time and achieve desired results and benefits, the company's ability to obtain regulatory approvals for commercialization of product candidates or to comply with ongoing regulatory requirements, regulatory limitations relating to the company's ability to promote or commercialize its product candidates for specific indications, acceptance of its product candidates in the marketplace and the successful development, marketing or sale of products, Heat's ability to maintain its license agreements, the continued maintenance and growth of its patent estate, its ability to establish and maintain collaborations, its ability to obtain or maintain the capital or grants necessary to fund its research and development activities, and its ability to retain its key scientists or management personnel, its ability to successfully integrate Pelican and the other factors described in the company's most recent annual report on Form 10-K and other filings with the SEC. The information in this release is provided only as of the date of this release and the company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this release based on new information, future events, or otherwise, except as required by law.

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