Heat Biologics Pops 77% On ‘Positive’ Lung Cancer Therapy Trial Data

Heat Biologics shares spiked 77% as the biopharma company reported positive interim data from the Phase 2 trial of its lung cancer treatment.

The Phase 2 trial tested Heat’s (HTBX) HS-110 in combination with Bristol Myers Squibb’s opdivo (nivolumab) as a therapy for the treatment of patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

HS-110 is Heat’s “off-the-shelf” cell-based therapy tailored to activate a patient’s immune system and induce a robust response against tumor cells.

Heat Biologics CEO Jeff Wolf said that the findings of the Phase 2 trial data demonstrate “…HS-110’s broad potential for providing multiple treatment options to NSCLC patients.”

“We are currently evaluating possible Phase 3 registration pathways for HS-110 in combination with a checkpoint inhibitor and intend to review these plans with the FDA as well as potential partners,” Wolf added.

The Phase-2 trial results showed a one-year survival rate of 61.7% for patients who were given HS-110 in combination with Bristol Myers Squibb’s (BMY) opdivo. These patients had advanced NSCLC but were not given a checkpoint inhibitor. A checkpoint inhibitor is a drug that blocks proteins on the surface of immune system cells like the T-cells from binding with proteins on the surface of a tumor cell.

Heat has a number of candidates in its product pipeline, including a COVID-19 vaccine. On Jan. 19, the company announced the initiation of the manufacturing process of its ZVX-60 vaccine.

Maxim Group analyst Jason McCarthy last month lowered the stock’s price target from $35 to $22 but reiterated a Buy rating on the stock. McCarthy said, “the opportunity for Heat’s gp96-based vaccine approach is still intact and on 1/19 the company moved a step closer to the clinic with the commencement of manufacturing its COVID-19 vaccine cell line ZVX-60.” (See Heat Biologics stock analysis on TipRanks)

The rest of the Street is in line with McCarthy’s view with a Strong Buy consensus rating. That’s based on 4 analysts recommending a Buy. The average analyst price target of $26.25 implies 214% upside potential to current levels.

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