OncoSec Medical And Heat Biologics Collaborate On Immunotherapy Platforms

OncoSec Medical (ONCS) and Heat Biologics (HBTX) both announced today that they will collaborate on clinical trials that will evaluate each company's platform in a combination study. Both these biotechnology companies utilize a form of technology that uses immunotherapy platforms.  This collaboration study is being done to determine if combining OncoSec's Immunopulse together with Heat's gp-96-lg based ImPACT immunotherapy platform can produce a more efficacious vaccine against cancerous cells. Under the terms of the agreement both companies will each share the cost of running the pre-clinical trial to evaluate this combination and determine if it a good idea to move forward with future collaborations. Shares of OncoSec gained 5% in today's trading session but shares of Heat Biologics gained more, finishing the trading day up about 13%.

Oncosec Medical will supply its licensed electroporation device to divide cells for a brief moment of time and allow Heat Biologics gp-96-lg to quickly enter the cells and stimulate the immune system. Oncosec did not create the electroporation device;. it licensed the electroporation device from Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO). OncoSec has already validated the electroporation device by using a DNA vaccine, IL-12, in a phase 2 trial  in patients with metastatic melanoma -- skin cancer . Mid term efficacy in this phase 2 trial had shown this combination to be highly efficacious. About 16 of the 21 patients treated responded well to the treatment. Eight of the patients had an overall response rate indicating that their tumor shrunk by 30% or more. Six patients had a partial response to the treatment, and two patients had a complete response -- completely eliminated the cancer.

Heat Biologics is running many studies of their own as well. The company is currently testing its gp-96-lg platform in two different phase 2 trials. One phase 2 trial is using Heat's Vaccine in patients with non-small cell lung cancer and the other phase 2 trial is testing patients with bladder cancer. Both companies will run the pre-clinical trial and if the efficacy seen is an improvement over both technologies separately, then we can expect to see additional collaborations in the coming years. We think that both companies have very promising technologies and both trade with low market caps. This gives an opportunity for long-term investors who believe in the technology to get in early before these companies take off.

Disclosure: Long INO

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