Heat Biologics cuts patients in clinical trial, workforce

By Melissa Fassbender

- Last updated on GMT

Heat Biologics has reduced its workforce and number of patients in its cancer clinical trial. (Image: iStock)
Heat Biologics has reduced its workforce and number of patients in its cancer clinical trial. (Image: iStock)

Related tags Lung cancer

Heat Biologics has announced several "necessary" but "incredibly difficult" cost cutting measures, including a workforce reduction of approximately 22%.

The immuno-oncology company announced the decisions today, explaining that it is implementing a “focused corporate strategy​” in order to achieve its goals moving forward.

A spokesperson from Heat Biologics told Biopharma-Reporter that the company "remains focused on its lead Phase 2 program evaluating HS-410 for the treatment of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer which is expecting topline data in the fourth quarter of 2016."

The spokesperson also added that the cost-saving measures "although incredibly difficult, were necessary as they allow us to achieve this data with current cash on-hand.​ We will continue to manage our resources and cash carefully to achieve this important inflection point for Heat​."

The company is also conducting a Phase 1b trial with its HS-110 (viagenpumatucel-L) in combination with an anti-PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor to treat patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, as part of the announcement today, Heat will only advance eight patients who are currently enrolled in the study – whereas it was originally planning to move forward with 18.

According to the company’s press release, Heat intends to focus its resources to achieve near-term milestones for both two product candidates.

We remain committed to advancing our lead clinical program for HS-410 and the focused reductions announced today extend our cash runway to reach significant inflection points expected later this year​,” said Jeff Wolf, Heat’s Founder and CEO.  “While difficult, these cost-saving measures are necessary. We are truly grateful for the meaningful contributions of the talented individuals impacted​.”

To further reduce costs, the company has also announced a reduction in compensation for the remaining leadership team and the “voluntary resignation​” of two members of the Board of Directors.

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