DURHAM –  Heat Biologics, a biopharmaceutical company developing therapies designed to activate a patient’s immune system against cancer, has raised $20,676,875 via a stock and warrants offering.

Heat’s T-Cell Activation Platform (TCAP) produces therapies designed to turn “cold” tumors “hot,” and be administered in combination with checkpoint inhibitor therapies and other immuno-modulators to increase their effectiveness in a synergistic fashion.

A checkpoint inhibitor blocks normal proteins on cancer cells or on T-cells that respond to them. They help overcome checkpoints, a cancer cell’s defense against immune system attacks. Blocking them restores immune system function.

Heat’s ImPACT (Pan-antigen Cytotoxic Therapy) platform is a cell-based T-Cell stimulating technology that functions as an immune activator. It reprograms a live, genetically modified cancer cell line to continually secrete a heat-shock protein injected along with a checkpoint inhibitor.

Immunotherapy is one of the most promising new approaches to cancer treatment. Heat has found the therapies work more effectively in combination than alone.

Heat reported positive interim data in its Phase 2 clinical trial for non-small cell lung cancer, in combination with Bristol-Myers Squibb’s nivolumab (Opdivo) in March.

Heat’s board recently adopted a stockholder rights plan sometimes called “a poison pill,” in March. Jeff Wolf, chair and CEO said in a statement, “The plan is intended to protect shareholder value in the event of an attempted hostile takeover of the Company. We are encouraged by the industry feedback to our interim results and are exploring partnerships and collaborations that will help drive value for shareholders.”

Heat disclosed details of the stock and warrant offering in a news release.