Heat Biologics, a Miami, Fla.-based off-the-shelf drug developer, has raised an undisclosed amount of first-round funding led by Brightline Ventures. The company’s initial focus is on therapeutic vaccines to treat non small cell lung cancer.
Heat Biologics, a clinical-stage immunotherapy company focused on developing off-the-shelf drugs to combat a wide range of diseases, has closed on an initial funding round led by Brightline Ventures. The funds will primarily be utilized to expedite ongoing clinical trials of Heat’s therapeutic vaccines to treat Non Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC), a particularly lethal disease that claims approximately 160,000 lives in the U.S. each year.
Funds will also be utilized to prepare two new products to enter clinical trials in the first quarter of 2011. Additional details of the investment were not disclosed.
“Heat Biologics is poised to arm oncologists with a powerful new weapon in the fight against cancer,” said Ed Smith, Managing Partner, Brightline Ventures. “The platform nature of Heat’s technology means it can be applied to a wide range of diseases, creating a broad stream of future drugs. Through a combination of capital, the company’s technology platform and the strategic relationships Brightline and its partners bring to the table, we expect Heat to emerge as a formidable leader in the development of next-generation immunotherapies.”
Heat Biologics was launched in 2008 by Seed-One Ventures to develop novel, off-the-shelf immunotherapy treatments that are more effective, less cumbersome and less expensive than existing immunotherapies under development. The company’s proprietary technology, the HS-System, is a live cell vaccine that stimulates the immune system and enables it to combat a variety of cancers, viral infections and other diseases. It is a unique shotgun approach that enables the body to induce and maintain an immune response against multiple tumor antigens, unleashing a powerful multi-prong attack that targets and destroys tumors and other diseases.
Heat’s HS-L1 therapeutic vaccine for NSCLC is currently being tested in a Phase I/II clinical trial involving 36 patients. Results are expected in early 2011. In addition to cancer, the HS-System is currently in advanced primate studies to test its utility in viral applications.
“This investment will enable us to expedite existing clinical trials as well as accelerate development of treatments for ovarian and pancreatic cancers and move them into clinical trials,” said Heat Biologics President Taffy Williams, Ph.D.
About Heat Biologics
Heat Biologics (www.heatbio.com) is a clinical-stage immunotherapy company focused on developing novel, off-the-shelf drugs that modulate the immune system to combat a wide range of cancers and viral infections, including HIV, Hepatitis C and influenza. Less invasive than personalized (autologous) immunotherapies, which require treatment of the patient’s own cancer or blood, Heat’s proprietary off-the-shelf (allogeneic) HS-System exploits the natural ability of diseased cells to activate the immune system and amplifies the body’s natural defenses. The company is currently in Phase I/II clinical trials with its first product, a drug to treat Non Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC), and has a robust pipeline of products in various stages of preclinical testing.