NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / May 16, 2018 / Shares of biotech stocks Heat Biologics and Inovio Pharmaceuticals both saw gains in Tuesday's trading session. It was a positive data update on Inovio's HIV vaccine PENNVAX-GP that sent its shares higher while first quarter results and clinical updates helped Heat Biologics shares explode.
RDI Initiates Coverage on:
Heat Biologics, Inc.
Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Heat Biologics, Inc. shares closed up 16.55% higher on Tuesday with nearly 7.5 million shares traded. The biopharma company which is developing drugs designed to activate the immune system against cancer, saw a bump in share price after reporting first quarter results as well as clinical updates. The company reported a net loss of $3.5 million, or ($0.75) per basic and diluted share for the quarter ended March 31, 2018. This is compared to a net loss of approximately $3.2 million, or ($1.18) per basic and diluted share from the year ago quarter. At the end of the first quarter Heat Biologics had approximately $9.0 million in cash and cash equivalents. CEO Jeff Wolf remarked, "We had an eventful first quarter, with a number of positive clinical developments. Most notably, we announced positive interim results 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 had progressed after treatment with one or more lines of therapy. These data are especially encouraging in patients with low levels of TIL and PD-L1, who are among the most difficult-to-treat patients. Importantly, we believe the data are consistent with the mechanism of action of our T-cell Activation Platform, which has been shown to promote a robust T-cell immune response. We believe the ability of our platform to convert ''cold tumors'' to ''hot tumors'' will be an important component in effective immunotherapy combinations against cancer.''
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Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. shares closed up almost 6% yesterday on roughly 3.7 million shares traded. The company announced that PENNVAX-GP, it's HIV vaccine, had maintained durable and robust immune responses at month 12. This was a full six months after the last dose in a Phase 1 clinical study. The Protocol Co-Chair of the HVTN 098 study (which was the first clinical study of PENNVAX-GP), Dr. Stephen De Rosa, presented the data at a plenary session at the 2018 HVTN Full Group Meeting on May 14 in Washington, D.C. Company CEO and President Dr. J. Joseph Kim remarked, "We are truly pleased to see these robust and durable immune response data, which are among the highest ever responses we've seen with an HIV vaccine, and they are remarkably consistent with our recent data reported from our Ebola, Zika and MERS clinical trials in terms of demonstrating nearly 100% vaccine response rates with a very favorable safety profile. Furthermore, our newer and more tolerable intradermal vaccine delivery device showed that we can elicit very high immune responses at a much lower dose. We look forward to further advancing PENNVAX-GP into later-stage clinical development with our partners and collaborators."
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