Heat Biologics Stages Impressive Recovery After Shaky Past


  • Heat Biologics posts positive phase 2 interim results using combination of HS-110 and Opdivo in patients with advanced NSCLC.
  • HS-110 may eventually be potentially useful in many other combinations involving PD-1 inhibitors.
  • Heat Biologics stumbled in the past, but this new phase 2 combo data with HS-110 should once again boost investor confidence.
  • The financials will need to be improved if the company is to advance its other parts of the pipeline, and the potential to eventually begin a phase 3 study if the final results are confirmed in phase 2.
  • If the final phase 2 data rolls in similar and or better in these patients with advanced NSCLC, then I expect a partnership or buyout to occur thereafter.

On Wednesday, Heat Biologics (HTBX) announced positive interim results from its phase 2 study treating patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). This positive data was obtained by combining Heat's HS-110 treatment in combination with Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) Opdivo. Despite this update being an interim look, there was some compelling data provided that was encouraging to move forward with.

Phase 2 Data

This phase 2 study recruited a total of 35 patients who were treated with a combination of HS-110 and Opdivo. It was noted that at least six of the patients in the study or 17% achieved a partial response. In addition, about 14 patients or 40% were able to stabilize their cancer. That gave a total disease control rate of 57%. This data is really good, and I think that there are more gains ahead for Heat Biologics. If you interpret the data for what it is, you will understand that it was really good. That's because this is a population that already has failed prior therapy. Think about that for a second, these advanced NSCLC have already progressed in their cancer and have gone through one or more prior therapies. That means that other therapies for these patients were ineffective and had no improvement in clinical outcome. On the other hand, by taking the combination of HS-110 and Opdivo they were able to see a response. A lot of times in biotech investing it is best to take the data in terms of context (e.g. first-line therapy, second-line therapy etc.). Opdivo already is known to be strong in many types of cancers, but this combo was enhanced with HS-110. What HS-110 does is that it utilizes or presents a patient's immune system with modified lung cancer cells. Once the immune system picks up on these modified cancer cells ((HS-110)) it targets the cancer and destroys it. Opdivo activates and or enhances T-cell activity to target and kill tumors with the use of antigen

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Actionable ideas on small-large cap biotech stocks through deep analysis.

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