HCW Biologics Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2022 Financial Results and Recent Business Highlights
MIRAMAR, Fla., March 28, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- HCW Biologics Inc. (the “Company” or “HCW Biologics”) (NASDAQ: HCWB), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing novel immunotherapies to lengthen healthspan by disrupting the link between chronic, low-grade inflammation and age-related diseases, today reported financial results and recent business highlights for its fourth quarter ended December 31, 2022.
Hing C. Wong, Ph.D., Founder and CEO of HCW Biologics, stated, “We had a productive year in 2022, and our cancer program met or exceeded key milestones. In the fall, a preliminary first-in-human clinical data readout was presented at the SITC annual conference by Dr. Melissa Geller, the principal investigator for the University of Minnesota (“UMN”) sponsored Phase 1 clinical trial to evaluate HCW9218 in solid tumors. We are encouraged by data gathered in this study and believe that it shows the potential of HCW9218 in the treatment of solid tumors, especially ovarian cancer. Our data indicates that HCW9218 is functioning as it was intended – activating the immune system and capturing TGF-ß 1, 2 and 3 with no evidence of mucosal bleeding.”
Dr. Wong continued, “UMN has been a terrific sponsor and partner for the Phase 1 solid tumor clinical study. With Dr. Geller’s expertise and focus, along with the support of the co-principal investigator, Dr. Jeff Miller, the Phase 1 portion of this trial is on track to be completed within a year of its initiation, which is fortunate in the times of prolonged COVID-related delays. Because of this, we are poised to complete the Phase 1 study in 2023 and, if our studies are successful, potentially advance into Phase 2 clinical trials in 2023.”
In the fourth quarter of 2022, the Company also initiated a Company-sponsored Phase 1b/2 clinical trial to evaluate HCW9218 in advanced pancreatic cancer. Dr. Wong stated, “With respect to HCW9218, we believe cancer is our gateway indication to other age-related diseases. As and to the extent we advance the clinical development to evaluate HCW9218 in cancer indications, we intend to focus on two of the most difficult-to-treat cancers that have no therapeutic remedy today: ovarian cancer and pancreatic cancer.” He added, “If we can establish safety and dosage of HCW9218 in cancer indications, we plan to expand to other age-related diseases promoted by inflammaging.”
One of the pillars of the Company’s strategy is its commitment to documenting its work in high-impact scientific journals. Two scientific papers were submitted in 2022, one has been published, and the other has been accepted for publication. Dr. Wong stated, “We devote significant resources to publishing scientific papers, because we believe in the value of sharing our discoveries and inventions with the broader scientific community.”
Dr. Wong continued, “Our most recent paper published in Frontiers in Immunology illustrates the potential for HCW9302 as a therapeutic agent to expand and activate Treg cells indicating it might be effective in treating inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. HCW9302 is a unique fusion protein with two IL-2 domains linked by an extracellular tissue factor domain that has been shown in preclinical research to exhibit a more favorable pharmacokinetic profile than recombinant IL-2, with longer half-life, greater affinity to IL-2 receptor a and no toxicity. The results of our research included in this publication show the potential of HCW9302 in the treatment of age-related inflammatory diseases, such as atherosclerosis.”
Fourth Quarter and Other Recent Business Highlights:
Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2022 Financial Results:
HCW Biologics believes its cash and cash equivalents and investments will be sufficient to fund its operations through at least the next 12 months. This cash runway guidance is based on the Company’s current operational plans and buildout of its new headquarters building, and it excludes any additional capital infusion resulting from bank loans, joint ventures, out-licenses, or other business development transactions. Relocation to the new headquarters is anticipated during 2024, although the Company may choose to delay the completion date to extend its cash runway. In the year ended December 31, 2022, the Company incurred significant legal expenses on its own behalf and on behalf of Dr. Wong, as required by the indemnification agreement between the Company and Dr. Wong. In the year ahead, the Company expect to continue to incur legal expenses on its own behalf in connection with the legal proceedings brought against it by Altor/NantCell. However, now that the arbitration against Dr. Wong was initiated by Altor/NantCell, Dr. Wong’s legal expenses will be covered by the provisions of his advancement agreement with Altor/NantCell in connection with the arbitration.
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Forward Looking Statements:
HCW Biologics Inc.
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