DURHAM, NC / ACCESSWIRE / April 1, 2020 / Heat Biologics, Inc. ("Heat") (NASDAQ:HTBX), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company specialized in the development of novel therapeutic and prophylactic vaccines, including one for coronavirus COVID-19, announced today the formation of its COVID-19 Advisory Board (CAB) with four key appointments: Justin Stebbing MD, PhD, Raymond Pickles, PhD, Natasa Strbo MD, DSc, and Lanying Du, PhD.
Heat's COVID-19 Advisory Board was established with leading thought leaders to propel Heat's COVID-19 vaccine and COVID-19 diagnostic programs. The combined Advisory Board has expertise in areas of coronavirus and related respiratory virus biology and infection, immunotherapy, and vaccines. Heat recently announced a research collaboration with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine to develop a vaccine leveraging Heat's proprietary gp96 platform designed to target the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Under a separate collaboration with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Heat also intends to develop a proprietary COVID-19 point-of-care diagnostic test.
The CAB members include:
- Justin Stebbing MD, PhD, Professor of Cancer Medicine and Oncology, Consultant Oncologist, at the Imperial College and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
- Raymond Pickles, PhD, Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine with over 20 years of experience and expertise in respiratory research and newly emerging coronavirus including SARS
- Natasa Strbo MD, DSc, Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine and co-developer of Heat's gp96 platform, she has spent years advancing the platform as a vaccine against HIV and malaria
- Lanying Du, PhD, Member at the New York Blood Center (NYBC) and Head of Viral Immunology Laboratory at the Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute of NYBC, where she focuses on development of vaccines and therapeutic agents to prevent and treat infectious diseases including COVID-19, MERS, SARS and Zika
Jeff Wolf, Chief Executive Officer of Heat Biologics, commented, "We are thrilled to have attracted leading experts in immunotherapy and vaccines to support Heat as we continue to develop Heat's COVID-19 vaccine and COVID-19 diagnostic programs. We look forward to working closely with the CAB to advance our programs to help combat the current COVID-19 pandemic."
Justin Stebbing MD, PhD, is a Professor of Cancer Medicine and Oncology, Consultant Oncologist, at the Imperial College and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. Professor Justin Stebbing specializes in a range of malignancies, their treatment with immunotherapy (breast, GI and lung and clinical trials), having originally trained in medicine at Trinity College Oxford, where he gained a first-class degree. After completion of junior doctor posts in Oxford, he undertook training and a residency program at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in the US, returning to London to continue his career in oncology at The Royal Marsden and then St Bartholomew's Hospitals. Professor Stebbing's original PhD research investigated the interplay between the immune system and cancer; he was appointed a senior lecturer in 2007, and a Professor in 2009. Professor Stebbing has published over 600 peer-reviewed papers in journals such as the Lancet, New England Journal, Blood, the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Annals of Internal Medicine, as well as writing regularly for national newspapers and presenting new data on optimal cancer therapies at the major international conferences.
Raymond Pickles, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology within the UNC School of Medicine. His research is focused on how viruses infect the respiratory tract of humans and other animal species and why highly pathogenic viruses often result in more severe airway disease. He has 30 years of experience working with models of the respiratory tract and has used these models to understand infection outcomes with Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), Adenoviruses, newly emerging avian influenza viruses, and newly emerging coronaviruses including SARS. He received his PhD from the University of Cambridge before completing Post-Doctoral Studies in the Division of Pulmonary Medicine at UNC-Chapel Hill
Natasa Strbo MD, DSc, is an assistant professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine. Dr. Strbo is also a co-developer of Heat's gp96 platform and has spent many years advancing the platform as a vaccine against HIV and malaria. Dr. Strbo's current research is focused on devising a novel strategy for achieving as complete a protection as possible, the ultimate goal being the future development of an efficacious heat shock protein (HSP) gp96-Ig vaccine against HIV, malaria, ZIKA, CMV, COVID-19 and other emerging infectious diseases. Dr. Strbo was the recipient of a Miami CTSI KL2 Award (2013-2016) to study vaccine-induced immune responses in the reproductive tract of HIV-infected humanized mice and she was also awarded the University of Miami Glaser Award for 2016 to further develop HIV vaccine technology.
Lanying Du, PhD, is a Member at the New York Blood Center (NYBC) and is the Head of Viral Immunology Laboratory at the Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute of NYBC. Dr. Du's research focuses on the development of effective and safe vaccines and therapeutic agents to prevent and treat emerging and reemerging infectious diseases caused by coronaviruses, including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), also known as 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), SARS-CoV, and other coronaviruses with pandemic potential, influenza viruses, as well as flaviviruses, including Zika virus and dengue virus. Dr. Du's research also focuses on the study of pathogenic mechanisms of these viruses, based on which to design novel vaccines and therapeutic antibodies. Her research tools include rational design of novel vaccines and therapeutics, mRNA technology, drug screening, antibody production and evaluation.
About Heat Biologics, Inc.
Heat Biologics is a biopharmaceutical company developing immunotherapies designed to activate a patient's immune system against cancer and other diseases using its proprietary gp96 platform to activate CD8+ "Killer" T-cells. Heat has completed enrollment in its Phase 2 clinical trial for advanced non-small cell lung cancer with its gp96-based HS-110 therapeutic vaccine. HS-110 is the company's first biologic product candidate in a series of proprietary immunotherapies designed to stimulate a patient's own T-cells. Heat Biologics has also launched a program in collaboration with the University of Miami to develop a vaccine designed to protect against the COVID-19 Coronavirus. Heat has numerous other pre-clinical programs at various stages of development. For more information, please visit www.heatbio.com.
This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 on our current expectations and projections about future events. In some cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as "may," "should," "potential," "continue," "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "plans," "believes," "estimates," and similar expressions. These statements are based upon current beliefs, expectations, and assumptions and include statements such as the support to be received by the SAB members with respect to Heat's continued development of its COVID-19 vaccine and COVID-19 diagnostic programs and advancing Heat's programs to help combat the current COVID-19 pandemic. These statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict, including the contribution of the SAB, the ability of Heat together with researchers at the University of Miami to develop a proprietary COVID-19 point-of-care diagnostic test, the ability of Heat's vaccine platform to provide protection against COVID-19, the ability of Heat's therapies to perform as designed, to demonstrate safety and efficacy, as well as results that are consistent with prior results, the ability to enroll patients and complete the clinical trials on time and achieve desired results and benefits, Heat's ability to obtain regulatory approvals for commercialization of product candidates or to comply with ongoing regulatory requirements, regulatory limitations relating to Heat's ability to promote or commercialize its product candidates for specific indications, acceptance of its product candidates in the marketplace and the successful development, marketing or sale of products, Heat's ability to maintain its license agreements, the continued maintenance and growth of its patent estate, its ability to establish and maintain collaborations, its ability to obtain or maintain the capital or grants necessary to fund its research and development activities, its ability to continue to maintain its listing on the Nasdaq Capital Market and its ability to retain its key scientists or management personnel, and the other factors described in Heat's most recent annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018 filed with the SEC, and other subsequent filings with the SEC. The information in this release is provided only as of the date of this release, and Heat undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this release based on new information, future events, or otherwise, except as required by law.
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SOURCE: Heat Biologics Inc.