Heat Bio Warms NASDAQ With IPO
Chapel Hill-based Heat Biologics, recruited to North Carolina by the Biotechnology Center and bootstrapped by an NCBiotech loan, spent its first day as a publicly traded company bouncing up, down and then closing 4.3 percent below its $10 opening price.
Heat is a clinical-stage immunotherapy company with a unique next-generation drug platform initially targeting cancer.
The company received $225,000 from NCBiotech’s Strategic Growth Loan program in late 2011, and a $3,000 industrial intern award in 2012, to help it reach the public-trading milestone. Heat has also garnered some $5 million in other outside investments.
Heat launched onto the NASDAQ exchange offering 2.5 million shares at $10 apiece. During its first trading day today it hit a high of $10.19, dipped as low as $9.02, and closed at $9.57.
The company is in phase II clinical trials studying HS-110 as a treatment for non-small cell lung cancer. It is also preparing a bladder cancer treatment to start clinical trials.
Both are based on Heat’s 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 plans to use ImPACT to produce off-the shelf vaccines that can be used by a general population of patients, unlike personalized medicine therapies that are patient-specific.
NCBiotech recruited the company from Miami in 2011, providing temporary office space at the Biotechnology Center for several months while CEO Jeff Wolf was arranging office space for the company in Chapel Hill.