HCW Biologics’ Founder and CEO Dr. Hing C. Wong Named Weaver H. Gaines Entrepreneur of the Year
Award recognizes extraordinary contributions to the growth of life sciences
MIRAMAR, Fla., Dec. 13, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- HCW Biologics Inc. (the “Company” or “HCW Biologics”) (NASDAQ: HCWB), a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing novel immunotherapies to lengthen health span by disrupting the link between chronic, low-grade inflammation and age-related diseases, announced today Hing C. Wong, Ph.D., Founder and CEO of HCW Biologics, was named the 2021 Weaver H. Gaines Entrepreneur of the Year by BioFlorida. Presented annually at the BioFlorida Conference, the award recognizes an individual who has made extraordinary contributions to the growth of life sciences in the leadership of a company or institution. This marks the second time Dr. Wong has received the award; the first being in 2017.
The award was presented at the BioFlorida Conference, which took place from December 8-10, 2021, in Orlando, Florida. BioFlorida represents 6,700 establishments and research organizations in the biopharmaceuticals, medical technology, health IT and bio-agriculture sectors. The Weaver H. Gaines Entrepreneur of the Year Award is named in honor of Weaver Gaines, one of the founding directors of BioFlorida.
“We are pleased to once again present Dr. Wong with the Entrepreneur of the Year award for his contributions to the Florida life sciences industry and his ongoing passion and commitment to developing transformative immunotherapies to lengthen the quality of life for those with cancer and other age-related diseases,” said Nancy K. Bryan, President and CEO of BioFlorida.
Founded in 2018, HCW Biologics is developing novel immunotherapies that target changes in the human immune system that occur as part of the natural aging process and believed to play a key role in causing cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative conditions and other age-related disorders. The Company’s research and clinical development revolves around molecules created using the TOBI™ platform, a proprietary technology developed by HCW Biologics to engineer multi-functional fusion protein molecules and protein complexes with the ability to stimulate and target desired immune responses and inhibit unwanted inflammation.
Under Dr. Wong’s leadership, HCW Biologics completed an initial public offering in July 2021, and recently received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to advance its lead product candidate, HCW9218, into a first-in-human Phase 1b clinical trial for advanced pancreatic cancer. The Company expects to begin the trial in the first half of 2022.
“I am humbled by this honor and to be among the outstanding individuals who are past recipients of this award,” stated Dr. Wong. “This accolade is not mine alone but represents the hard work and commitment of the team at HCW Biologics, our research partners and the loyalty and commitment of our investors to a shared vision of harnessing groundbreaking research into the workings of the human immune system to find new immunotherapies for cancer and other age-related diseases. I would like to thank the BioFlorida organization, its members, and its board of directors for the significant contribution that they have made to the growth and success of the biotechnology industry across the state of Florida."
As previously announced, Dr. Wong participated in a panel discussion at the BioFlorida Conference, titled, “New Strategies in the Fight Against Cancer.” Joining Dr. Wong on the panel was Douglas W. Calder, President of Vycellix; Robert Igarashi, Ph.D., Vice President of Discovery and Pre-Clinical Development at Kiadis Pharma; and Margo Shoup, M.D., President of the Orlando Health Cancer Institute and Vice President of Orlando Health.
About Dr. Hing C. Wong
Dr. Hing C. Wong has served as CEO and a board member of HCW Biologics since founding the Company in April 2018. His 35-year career in the life sciences industry has included leadership roles spanning early-stage startups to globally established companies. Previously, he founded and served as the CEO of Altor BioScience Corporation (“Altor”) and Sunol Molecular Corporation. Dr. Wong served as CEO of NantCell following the company’s acquisition of Altor in 2017. Prior to striking out on his own as an entrepreneur, he held senior positions at Baxter Healthcare and Cetus Corporation. Dr. Wong received a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and completed his postdoctoral training at the University of Washington. He is the major or lead author of over 100 research articles in high-impact peer-review scientific journals and the sole or co-inventor of numerous awarded worldwide patents. He is also the grant recipient of over $25 million from research institutes including the National Institutes of Health.
About the TOBI™ platform:
HCW Biologics has combined deep understanding of disease-related immunology with its expertise in advanced protein engineering to develop the TOBI™ discovery platform. The TOBI™ platform is a proprietary immunotherapeutic drug design and discovery platform. The Company has utilized this modular, tunable technology to generate a novel pipeline of immunotherapeutic candidates capable of activating and targeting desired immune responses while blocking unwanted immunosuppressive activities. The balancing of these two activities is believed to be the key to developing immunotherapeutic agents that will be safe, well tolerated and efficacious.
About HCW Biologics:
HCW Biologics is a transformative immunotherapy company that focuses on inflammaging, a state of unresolved inflammatory responses and chronic inflammation. The Company is developing novel immunotherapies designed to improve health span by disrupting the link between chronic, low-grade inflammation and age-related diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases and autoimmune diseases. The Company uses its TOBI™ discovery platform to generate designer, novel multi-functional fusion molecules with immunotherapeutic properties for the treatment of inflammaging. The invention of HCW Biologics’ two lead molecules, HCW9218 and HCW9302, was made via the TOBI™ discovery platform. The FDA has cleared HCW Biologics to initiate a first-in-human Phase 1b clinical trial for HCW9218 in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. The Company is also advancing IND-enabling studies for HCW9302 for an autoimmune indication.
Forward Looking Statements:
Statements in this press release contain “forward-looking statements” that are subject to substantial risks and uncertainties. These statements are made under the “safe harbor” provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements contained in this press release may be identified by the use of words such as “anticipate,” “expect,” “believe,” “will,” “may,” “should,” “estimate,” “project,” “outlook,” “forecast” or other similar words and include, without limitation, statements regarding immunotherapeutic candidates capable of activating and targeting desired immune responses while blocking unwanted immunosuppressive activities; the balancing of certain activities believed to be the key to developing immunotherapeutic agents that are expected to be safe, well tolerated and efficacious; the development of novel immunotherapies expected to improve health span by disrupting the link between chronic, low-grade inflammation and age-related diseases, and the Company’s intention to use TOBI™ technology to develop the next generation of cancer immunotherapeutics, expectations to initiate a Phase 1b clinical trial to evaluate HCW9218 in chemotherapy-refractory pancreatic cancer in the first half of 2022. Forward-looking statements are based on the Company’s current expectations and are subject to inherent uncertainties, risks and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Further, certain forward-looking statements are based on assumptions as to future events that may not prove to be accurate. Factors that could cause actual results to differ include, but are not limited to, the risks and uncertainties that are described in the section titled “Risk Factors” in the final prospectus related to the Company’s initial public offering filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on July 21, 2021. Forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made as of this date, and the Company undertakes no duty to update such information except as required under applicable law.
HCW Biologics Inc.
|Investor Relations Contact:|
Maureen McEnroe, CFA
Executive Vice President
Tiberend Strategic Advisors, Inc.
|Media Relations Contact:|
Senior Vice President
Tiberend Strategic Advisors, Inc.