At the American Conference for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting, immuno-oncology company Heat Biologics, Inc. (NASDAQ:HTBX) has presented the preclinical results from its team-up with DNA-based intratumoral cancer immunotherapy company OncoSec Medical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ONCS), which evaluated immunotherapy platform integrations of the company’s products.

The presentation entitled, “In vivo intra-tumoral electroporation of Gp96-Ig/Fc-OX40L stimulates CD8+ T cell cross-priming to tumor specific neoantigens” was delivered on April 17. Similarly, Heat Biologics also presented other abstracts at the AACR. The “Vesigenurtacel-L stimulates tumor infiltration of unique polyclonal T cell clones in non-muscle invasive bladder cancer patients” and the “Combination immunotherapy: T cell costimulation (OX40L, TL1A, 4-1BBL and ICOSL) secreted locally by Gp96-Ig vaccines, elicits robust antigen-specific, memory T cell responses and tumor elimination” presentations were delivered on April 18.

Preclinical Conclusions

The researchers have found out that integrating the ComPACT vaccine of Heat Biologics and the intratumoral DNA electroporation delivery platform of OncoSec Medical stimulates an expansion of the neoantigen-specific CD8+ cells. This results to the regression of both treated and untreated cancer lesions (colorectal and melanoma cancer).

Taylor Schreiber, M.D., Ph.D., Heat Biologics Chief Scientific Officer, explained that the preclinical study showed a robust neoantigen T cell response and tumor regressions. This indicates that a systemic anti-tumor response can reflect what is seen in metastatic lesions. Moreover, Schreiber added that the results of the studies and the initiative itself are promising, as the combination does not come with complexities involving personalized therapies.

Heat Biologics, OncoSec Medical Tie-Up

Robert H. Pierce, M.D., OncoSec Medical Chief Scientific Officer, expressed that both companies are even more driven with the partnership following the preclinical results of the collaborative study. According to Pierce, the companies are deeply encouraged and are now working on the possible interaction of ComPACT and interleukin-12 expressing plasmids.

The collaboration of the two companies began last year, seeking to assess the efficacy of delivering the immunotherapy vaccines of Heat Biologics using the ImmunoPulse platform of OncoSec Medical.