DURHAM, N.C., April 18, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Heat Biologics, Inc. (Heat) (NYSE American: HTBX), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing novel biodefense assets and first-in-class therapies to modulate the immune system, today announced a planned development partnership of its Scorpion Biological Services subsidiary with a private developer, the State of Kansas and local and university affiliates, to support the development of a new biodefense-focused large molecule and biologics biomanufacturing facility in Manhattan, Kansas. Manhattan is the home of Kansas State University (K-State), its Biosecurity Research Institute (BRI), and the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF).
The Company intends to utilize the new 500,000+ square foot facility for large molecule and biologics manufacturing, with a particular focus on biodefense. In addition to servicing the Company’s own product pipeline, it plans to operate as a full-service Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) to provide third-party manufacturing services on a fee-for-service basis. Once fully operational, the new facility is expected to employ more than 500 individuals.
The facility is expected to have a billion-dollar economic impact within the State of Kansas. According to Emergen Research, the current demand for biologics is rapidly growing, with an expected market size reaching $567 billion by 2028.
The design and engineering of the facility is being led by CRB Group, a nationally recognized firm focused on designing and building biomanufacturing facilities, with Realty Trust Group (RTG), a leading healthcare/ life sciences real estate advisory and development firm, serving as the lead developer on the project.
Later today, the Company will host a ceremony with Kansas Governor Laura Kelly and Lt. Governor David Toland. Also attending the event will be US Senator Jerry Moran, former K-State President General Richard Myers and current K-State President Richard Linton, among others. The event will be held in Manhattan, Kansas, at 11:00 AM Eastern Time / 10:00 AM Central Time on April 18, 2022, and will be live streamed here: https://www.kansascommerce.gov/projectannouncement-4-18-22/
“We are thrilled and excited that Scorpion has chosen Kansas for this game-changing facility that will have a massive positive impact in our state,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “Being in the center of the country, with quick access to either coast, there is no better state for Scorpion to locate in order to address potential threats to public health.”
David Halverson, President of Heat’s Scorpion subsidiary, noted, “We are very excited to break ground on this new facility. There is a strong demand for world-class biomanufacturing, which we expect to continue well into the future. We intend to help fill that demand with our San Antonio, Texas and Manhattan, Kansas facilities. The 500,000 square foot Manhattan facility is being designed to service up to 144,000 liters across 48 bioreactors–powered by an excellent Kansas workforce. We’re looking forward to rapidly growing and expanding Scorpion, and Manhattan is the perfect location for our newest facility.”
Jeff Wolf, Chief Executive Officer of Heat, commented, “Today, we are very proud to unveil our plans for our newest biomanufacturing facility in Manhattan, Kansas. With a model that starts with discovery at our Skunkworx subsidiary in North Brunswick, New Jersey and ends with commercial scale manufacturing here in Manhattan, this facility represents the next stage in our evolution, designed to enable us to combine speed and agility with the full-integration of discovery, development and manufacturing.”
Mr. Wolf added, “The COVID pandemic and recent geopolitical events highlight the urgent need for rapid response to potential biological threats, natural or man-made. Among other intended uses, we believe this facility should enable us to effectively scale production of ANTHIM®, an anthrax antitoxin, for use against a potential anthrax attack per our Elusys acquisition, as well as RapidVax®, a rapid plug-and-play programmable vaccine designed to target a comprehensive range of emerging biological threats.”
Mr. Wolf continued, “Today’s announcement is a major milestone, enhancing our domestic production of vital biologics to protect Americans from deadly disease. We appreciate the tremendous bipartisan support for this initiative, and we are extremely grateful to the State of Kansas and their officials for their hard work in bringing this project to fruition.”
About Scorpion Biological Services
Scorpion Biological Services, Inc. is working to expand the reach of precision medicine to more people within multiple therapeutic areas that are untreatable or treatment-resistant today. Its team is comprised of experts in bioanalytics, cell biology, virology, translational biology, biomanufacturing, and drug development. Scorpion’s services are designed to support a myriad of biologic drugs from conception through clinical trials and commercial production, to bring new drugs to market faster and more reliably.
About Heat Biologics, Inc.
Heat Biologics is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing first-in-class therapies and vaccines to modulate the immune system. Heat’s gp96 platform is designed to activate immune responses against cancer or infectious diseases. The Company has multiple product candidates in development leveraging the gp96 platform, including HS-110, which has completed enrollment in a Phase 2 trial, various infectious disease/biological threat programs in preclinical development and a pipeline of proprietary immunomodulatory antibodies and cell-based therapies, including PTX-35 and HS-130 in Phase 1 clinical trials.