Pipeline updates are highly awaited events in the pharma/biotech sector as they play an important role in deciding whether or not to invest in a particular company. These updates provide information on experimental drugs and at times provide an insight into the commercial potential of the candidate once it is successfully developed and commercialized.
Earlier this week, Heat Biologics, Inc. (HTBX) announced that a phase I/II study on its oncology candidate, HS-410 is open for enrolment. Heat Biologics is developing the candidate for the treatment of patients suffering from bladder cancer.
The company is expected to enrol 93 patients for the phase I/II study. The study will evaluate whether vaccination with HS-410, post transurethral resection of bladder tumor (:TURBT) and bacillus Calmette-Guérin (:BCG), delays disease recurrence compared to placebo.
Heat Biologics will further evaluate the safety profile of the candidate in patients suffering from bladder cancer. The first patient in the phase I/II study is expected to be dosed later this month.
As per data from the American Cancer Society, 73,000 new bladder cancer cases along with 15,000 deaths were reported in the U.S. in 2012. Heat Biologics also mentioned in its press release that no drugs were approved in the U.S. for the treatment of bladder cancer in more than 25 years.
Apart from HS-410, Heat Biologics’ oncology pipeline also includes HS-110. The company intends to initiate a phase II study on HS-110 in patients suffering from non-small cell lung cancer. We are encouraged by the company’s progress with its oncology pipeline so far. We note that the oncology market has big players like Roche (RHHBY).
Heat Biologics currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some other stocks worth considering include Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ) and Forest Laboratories Inc. (FRX). Both the stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).