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Heat Biologics Launches $10M Stock Offering; CFO To Move On

Xconomy Raleigh-Durham — 

Cancer immunotherapy company Heat Biologics (NASDAQ: HTBX) is raising $10.6 million through a stock offering—just as the company prepares to bid farewell to its chief financial officer.

Durham, NC-based Heat is offering 1.64 million shares at $6.50 per share. Underwriters have 45 days to purchase 246,000 additional shares. Heat says it will use proceeds from the stock offering for a wide range of corporate purposes, including clinical trials, regulatory submissions, and hiring additional personnel. The company adds that it may use some of the proceeds for licensing or acquiring products or intellectual property that complement the company’s own technology.

The stock offering, which falls under a shelf registration statement filed with securities regulators last year, is expected to close on March 16. That’s one day after Matthew Czajkowski, Heat’s chief financial officer, is set to step down from the company. In a securities filing, Heat says that Czajkowski is voluntarily resigning from the company to relocate to Rwanda, where he will become country director and CFO of Jibu, an organization working to provide safe and affordable drinking water in East Africa.

Heat says in the filing that Czajkowski’s resignation is not the result of any disagreement with the company. In his place, Stephen DiPalma will step in as interim CFO. DiPalma is managing director for Danforth Advisors, a firm whose financial support offerings include providing CFO services to emerging life science companies.

Heat’s approach to cancer immunotherapy introduces antigens that share the characteristics of cancer cells—characteristics that prompt the body’s immune system to target the cancer cells. The company calls its platform Immune Pan-Antigen Cytotoxic Therapy, or “ImPACT.” Heat licensed the technology from the University of Miami, where it was originally developed. Heat has advanced the technology into mid-stage clinical trials in non-small cell lung cancer and non-muscle invasive bladder cancer.

The offering follows developments that signal progress for the company’s programs. Last week, the FDA granted fast-track designation on Heat’s HS-410 as a treatment for bladder cancer. Last month, Heat struck a deal with San Diego-based OncoSec Medical (OTC: ONCS) to see if their respective cancer immunotherapy technologies might complement each other. OncoSec has technology that uses electrical pulses to enhance the delivery of cancer drugs to tumors. Heat has said that OncoSec’s technology could help it enter the field of DNA-based immunotherapy.