Heat Biologics Inc. (NASDAQ:HTBX) has announced that it has received a new US patent. The patent covers compositions of matter which are part of its gp96 platform in combination with Inducible T Cell Co-stimulator ligand (ICOSL), which is a T cell immune booster in one therapy.
New patent to complement Heat’s growing list of gp96 patent
The combination therapy aims to boost immunity to overcome potentially immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment and address the needs of patients who are unresponsive to current therapies. The new patent that Heat Biologics received complements its growing lists of patents around it’s the gp96 technology platform. It also includes a patent covering the platform technology in combination with T cell co-stimulatory agonist, OX40L. According to preclinical studies, the combination of Heat’s secreted gp96 and OX40L T Cell co-stimulator into a locally administered single therapy has shown enhanced activity compared to a combination of gp96 with normal OX40 antibody administered through intravenous infusion.
The combination of Heat’s gp96 and T cell co-stimulator is likely to have utility in fighting viral infections besides its oncology potential. Most importantly, immunogenic viral antigens presentation through gp96 and innate immunity induction alongside potent boost/activation of cellular immunity by killer CD8+ T cells will be instrumental in dealing with infected SARS-CoV-2 cells and tumor cells.
Heat’s gp96 COVID-19 vaccines can generate lung tissues memory CD8+ T cells
Preclinical studies show that Heat’s gp96-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate can generate lung tissue-resident memory CD8+ T cells, which are key in the destruction of SARS-CoV-2 infected cells. The proprietary COVID-19 vaccine approach could be important in the treatment of immunocompromised patients.
Heat’s CEO Jeff Wolf said that the new patent enhances the company’s gp96 intellectual property portfolio by adding another T cell co-stimulatory agonist. He said that they are optimistic that their single therapy combination that initiates local and specific T-cells will offer competitive advantages compared to conventional antibody therapy. This is through systemic toxicity limitation and lowering most of the cost required in a combination of therapies.