In today’s Bulldog wrapup on technology and life science news:

  • Heat Bio strikes a partnership for cancer therapies
  • Aerie reports promising test results for its glaucoma treatment
  • PRA reports first financials after IPO
  • BioCryst losses grow but generates revenue from own drug
  • The owner of the BlackShades malware pleads guilty

The details:

  • Heat’s Partnership

Heat Biologics (Nasdaq: HTBX) is teaming with OnoSec Medical for combined research into cancer immunotherapies. OnoSec focuses on DNA-based treatments. The two firms want to evaluate a combination of their technologies.

Financial terms were not disclosed. 

Heat descrbies its technology this way: The company is “focused on developing its novel, “off-the-shelf” ImPACT therapeutic vaccines to combat a wide range of cancers. Our ImPACT Therapy is designed to deliver live, genetically-modified, irradiated human cells which are reprogrammed to “pump out” a broad spectrum of cancer-associated antigens together with a potent immune adjuvant called “gp96″ to educate and activate a cancer patient’s immune system to recognize and kill cancerous cells. Heat is conducting a Phase 2 trial of its viagenpumatucel-L (HS-110) in patients with non-small cell lung cancer as w”

It currently has two Phase 2 clinical trials underway.

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  • ​Aerie Reports Positive Test Results

 Aerie Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:AERI), says tests in preclinical research point to a possible breakthrough in glaucoma treatment.

“The new research has indicated that Aerie’s lead drug candidate, Rhopressa, may block the effect of fibrosis-promoting proteins on cells of the trabecular meshwork, a tissue that helps maintain normal pressure in the eye. Fibrosis at the trabecular meshwork is associated with elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients with glaucoma. Specifically, the research found that RhopressaTM suppressed the activity of profibrotic proteins – TGF-beta 2 and CTGF – on human trabecular meshwork cells in an in vitro model. This is the first study to show that,” the company said Wednesday.

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  • PRA’s First Financials

PRA Health Science (Nasdaq: PRAH), a contract research organization, reported its first financials Wednesday since executing an IPO.


  • $323.8 million of service revenue in the fourth quarter; 8% consolidated service revenue growth compared to the fourth quarter of 2013
  • $50.6 million of Adjusted EBITDA in the fourth quarter; 44% growth compared to the fourth quarter of 2013
  • Fourth quarter Adjusted Net Income per share increased 35% to $0.35 per share and Adjusted Net Income increased 80% to $18.6 million compared to the fourth quarter of 2013
  • Fourth quarter GAAP Net Loss per share was $0.45 and GAAP Net Loss was $22.8 million, which were driven by costs incurred in connection with the Company’s IPO and related pay-down of debt

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  • BioCryst Reports Loss

BioCryst (Nasdaq: BRCX) reported a loss of $11.7 million, or 16 cents per share, on Wednesday for its most recent quarter.

While greater than the $5.4 million loss of a year ago, BioCryst did report its first revenue from its own FDA-approved product. 

The company’s income fell by nearly half to $5.4 million, but analysts expected $3.64 million in income and a loss of 21 cents per share.


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  • BlackShades Owner Pleads Guilty

The co-creator of sophisticated BlackShades malware pleaded guilty Wednesday to a criminal charge after authorities said his product infected over a half-million computers in more than 100 countries.

Alex Yucel, 24, entered the plea in Manhattan federal court to a single count of distribution of malicious software.

Yucel told Judge P. Kevin Castel he knew that individuals who bought the malware would use it maliciously. He said he hopes to return to Sweden after serving his sentence. Currently incarcerated, Yucel has agreed not to appeal any sentence that’s less than 7¼ years in prison. Sentencing was scheduled for May 22.

Yucel was arrested in Moldova in November 2013. Prosecutors said the BlackShadesRemote Access Tool, or “RAT,” has been sold since 2010 to several thousand users in more than 100 countries, enabling them to remotely take over the computers of others.

Michael Hogue, 23, of Maricopa, Arizona — the program’s co-creator — had pleaded guilty in New York after his June 2012 arrest. He awaits sentencing. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has said he is cooperating.