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Heat Biologics Files for IPO

By Jeremy Summers, NCBiotech Writer

Chapel Hill-based Heat Biologics, nurtured by the North Carolina Biotechnology Center since moving its headquarters from Miami, has become the latest Triangle area biotech company to file an IPO, following in the footsteps of LipoScience, Chimerix and Quintiles.

The company filed for a $20 million IPO last week and is banking on the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, passed in 2012, to help ease its way into public markets by reducing costs of the IPO process.

"We are an 'emerging growth company’ as that term is used in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 and, as such, may elect to comply with certain reduced public company reporting requirements for future filings," the company said in the filing.

If the IPO is successful, Heat Biologics said proceeds raised from the stock offering would be spent as follows:

  • Approximately $8,350,000 to complete Phase II clinical trials for HS-110 against non-small lung cancer and the submission of related materials to the FDA to fund an expanded clinical trial.
  • Approximately $1,000,000 for initiation and completion of Phase I clinical trials of HS-410 against bladder cancer.
  • Approximately $100,000 to enhance the scope of and pay regulatory fees for the company’s HS-110 lung cancer investigator-sponsored trial to test the use of HS-110 as a combination therapy against lung cancer.
  • Approximately $1,500,000 to fund one to two additional Phase 1 clinical trials on additional cancer indications.
  • $300,000 to repay the portion of the loan from Square 1 Bank that is due and payable in the next eighteen months.
  • The remaining net proceeds would be used for general corporate purposes, including ongoing operations and expansion of the business, further research and development, vendor payables, potential regulatory submissions and hiring additional sales and marketing personnel to support increased sales and marketing activities. 

In December, Heat Biologics acquired a line of credit from Square 1 Bank to support ongoing clinical trials and company growth. The firm announced in April that it had raised $5 million to continue evaluating its cancer-fighting technology in clinical trials.

The company is currently in phase II clinical trials studying HS-110 as a treatment for non-small cell lung cancer and is also preparing a bladder cancer treatment to start clinical trials. The company has developed a proprietary technology it calls Immune Pan-Antigen Cytotoxic Therapy, or ImPACT, which reprograms live tumor cells to continually produce antigens that prompt the body’s immune system to fight disease. Heat Bio aims to use ImPACT to produce off-the shelf vaccines that can be used by a general population of patients, unlike some personalized medicine therapies that are patient-specific.

Company aided by NCBiotech programs

Heat Biologics received a $250,000 loan from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center in January, when the firm was in the midst of trying to secure $4.14 million in funding.

NCBiotech recruited the company, which was spun out of the University in Miami in 2008, to relocate to North Carolina in 2011. Heat Biologics held temporary office space at the Biotechnology Center for several months while CEO Jeff Wolf was arranging office space for the company in Chapel Hill.

Heat Biologics is also a participant in several NCBiotech programs. Last year, the firm participated in the Industrial Internship Program and hired Michael Blanks to help the company raise capital that will fund ongoing clinical development of its therapeutic cancer vaccines. 

The firm also participates in NCBiotech’s BATON Program, which provides an online professional network to assist in growing sustainable North Carolina life science companies. The program connects NCBiotech with university and research institute technology transfer offices, scientific inventors, providers of professional services commonly needed by young life sciences companies, and entrepreneurs interested in managing these companies.

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