Heat Biologics Inc (NASDAQ:HTBX PTX-35) has announced the commencement of its clinical trial for PTX-35, a COVID-19 vaccine candidate that the company developed.
The company was excited to announce that it administered PTX-35 to its first patient, thus kicking off the cancer treatment candidate’s all-important clinical trial at its lead site. Heat Biologics has also appointed Anthony Tolcher as the lead investigator in PTX-35’s Phase 1 clinical trial. Tolcher is one of the founders of NEXT Oncology, and he is also a medical oncologist at the firm.
“PTX-35 is a promising product candidate that exquisitely targets TNFRSF25. This is a first-in-class antibody that targets an important pathway to activate antigen-experienced memory CD8+ T cells,” stated Dr. Tolcher.
Dr. Tolcher is confident that PTX-35 will yield favorable results in its study, even if it does not currently work as an effective treatment against cancer. He also described immunotherapy as one of the fastest-growing oncology divisions, and researchers are now starting to observe the potential of using treatments that leverage the power of the immune system to treat illnesses.
PTX-35 is Heat Biologics’ first-in-class T-CELL antibody co-stimulator that targets a receptor called TNFRSF25, which is usually found in antigen-experienced T cells. Its mechanism activates antigen-experienced memory CD8+ T cells that are critical for killing tumors.
Heat Therapeutics previously announced the commencement of the clinical trial
The company’s current announcement about the administration of the developmental treatment to the first coronavirus patient comes just days after it announced that it commenced the clinical trial. Heat Therapeutics expects to enroll roughly 30 patients in the in-human study. The study will particularly focus on patients with advanced solid tumors.
Patients that will sign up for the clinical trial will receive a dose of PTX-35 on a bi-weekly basis until they show signs of disease progression. The company will also investigate escalated dose levels to identify optimal doses. Heat Therapeutics CEO, Jeff Wolf, stated that the company views the ongoing study as a critical aspect of pushing PTX-35’s development further. He believes that the treatment can provide an alternative treatment approach that will help cancer patients.