Heat Biologics gp96 Vaccine Effort Aims for T Cell Immunity
SEP 01, 2020 | GRANT M. GALLAGHER
Heat Biologics CEO Jeff Wolf talks with Contagion about the firm's effort to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus focused on combining antibody and T cell immunity using the GP-96 protein.
While some vaccine candidates appear to demonstrate robust antibody response so far, this may wane for SARS-CoV-2, raising the question of longer lasting cellular immunity.
"We have a very unique vaccine," Wolf claims, pointing to other advantages over existing vaccines, such as the potential to use the company's GP-96 vaccine platform in older populations.
GP-96 is what's known as a "chaperone protein" because its function is to fold other proteins and place peptides on the cell's surface.
According to Heat, the GP-96 based technology is already being investigated for cancer and has been tested using Department of Defense funding for other infectious diseases.
While the GP-96 platform is the same as Heat uses for oncology research, Wolf argues it's well-suited for taking on pandemics like SARS-CoV-2.
Past study has taken place for infectious disease threats like:
In the first part of our interview, Wolf explains that T cell immunity was made an early priority for Heat's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development program.
[Bio provided by Heat Biologics]
Jeffrey Wolf is founder and CEO of Heat Biologics. He also founded Seed-One Ventures, a firm focused on the systematic formation and management of new biomedical companies based upon breakthrough research.
Throughout his career, Mr. Wolf has specialized in building new life-science companies from the ground up and has played an active role in supporting the growth of his companies.
Mr. Wolf's start-ups include Avigen (co-founder and director), a NASDAQ-listed gene therapy company; TyRx Pharma (co-founder and chairman), which was focused on the development of novel bio-compatible polymers and recently sold to Medtronic and EluSys Therapeutics (founder and CEO), focused on the development of novel antibodies against infectious diseases.
Mr. Wolf received his M.B.A. from Stanford Business School, his J.D. from New York University School of Law and his B.A. from the University of Chicago, where he graduated with honors in economics.
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