Technology

Stimulating the Immune System to Attack and Destroy Cancer Cells

Our proprietary, ImPACT® and ComPACT™ T-cell Activation Platform (TCAP) technologies are allogeneic, “off-the-shelf” therapies that stimulate a patient’s immune system to attack and destroy cancer cells.

Proprietary, ImPACT® and ComPACT™ T-cell Activation Platform

ImPACT and ComPACT are based on the development of an engineered form of the heat shock protein, gp96. gp96 is a “molecular warning system” that has evolved important properties as a natural defense against necrotic cell death, in order to serve as a sentinel to alert the immune system to the presence and identity of dangerous pathogens. By developing cell lines to secrete an engineered form of gp96, Heat’s ImPACT technology is able to simulate a process that our immune systems have naturally evolved over millions of years.

“I formed Heat with the singular goal of developing innovative and powerful tools to harness the body’s natural immune system to treat cancer. My father died of cancer, but it wasn’t the cancer that killed him. Rather, it was the toxic effect of the chemotherapy. Heat strives to offer a less toxic, more effective approach to treating patients with cancer.”

“Over time, our vision has expanded as the treatment paradigm for cancer has evolved. Over the last few years, it has become clear to me that combining strategies to stimulate a targeted T-cell immune response with those that overcome tumor defenses in a single immune-oncology cocktail will provide the most durable patient benefit. We’ve worked hard to assemble a portfolio of drugs to activate and stimulate T-cells, and look forward to more effective combinations in the future.”

– Jeffrey Wolf, Heat Biologics Founder and CEO

Turning “Cold” Tumors “Hot”

Tumors are classified as "hot" or "cold" based on their responsiveness to checkpoint inhibitors. Scientists and pharmaceutical companies are focusing heavily on how to turn cold tumors into hot tumors, thereby dramatically increasing the numbers of patients that respond to checkpoint inhibitors, and, in turn, increasing the rates of survival. Heat Biologics recently announced positive interim data from our Phase 2 study investigating HS-110 in combination with Bristol-Myers Squibb’s anti-PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor, nivolumab (Opdivo®), in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose cancers have progressed after treatment with one or more lines of therapy.

These results showed tumor shrinkage and disease control in a majority of evaluable patients, and durable responses in those patients with low levels of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (“TIL”) and PD-L1. These patients, comprising the majority of the NSCLC population, typically respond poorly to checkpoint inhibitors and represent the most difficult-to-treat patient groups.