Durham, N.C. based Heat Biologics Inc (NASDAQ:HTBX), which develops gp96-based immunotherapies that activate a patient’s immune system to fight cancer, has turned bullish over the last two trading sessions.
In our previous article, we had alerted investors to the possibility of Heat Biologics taking out its 50-day moving average, then around $1.38, after its breakout from a falling wedge.
That the stock did that in style yesterday, pushing a gain of 11.28% and closing at $1.48 on surging volume of over 2 million shares.
Fanning the bullish heat in the stock was an announcement by the company of a new collaboration.
Heat Biologics Inc (NASDAQ:HTBX) ties up a collaboration for Zika vaccine
The company announced that it entered into an agreement with the University of Miami for the license and development of a portfolio of patents leveraging its gp96 platform to target the Zika virus and other infectious diseases.
“We are excited about our collaboration with the University of Miami to develop a gp96-based vaccine designed to prevent the spread of Zika and protect the fetuses of women who contract it,” said Jeff Wolf, CEO of Heat Biologics. “Gp96-Ig is a powerful vaccine platform that has been shown to induce a potent and localized immune response and mucosal immunity, which may protect against Zika and other infectious diseases. Zolovax, our newly formed subsidiary, will focus exclusively on developing gp96-based vaccines for infectious diseases, and we are actively pursuing additional collaborative research partners to complement these efforts.”
The collaboration program at the University of Miami will be led by Natasa Strbo, M.D., D.Sc., a reproductive immunologist, who is focused on researching the immune system’s interaction with the placenta. Dr. Strbo is also a co-developer of Heat’s gp96 platform and has spent many years advancing the platform as a vaccine against malaria and HIV.
Speaking to the media, Wolf said the company would likely fund the program over the next several months.
He also said the company was well-positioned financially after its recent capital raise of $2 million and that there was no longer a threat of the stock being delisted.
“We’re in very good shape this year,” he said.