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GEN News Highlights : Aug 3, 2011

Avaxia Gets Two-Year $2.9M Biodefense Award from BARDA

Contract covers oral antibody therapy to mitigate the gastrointestinal damage that follows radiation exposure.

BARDA awarded Avaxia Biologics a $2.9 million contract to develop an oral antibody therapy to mitigate the gastrointestinal damage that follows radiation exposure that might occur after a nuclear incident. The contract spans two years, and the money is dependent on certain milestones being achieved.

"With this funding we will be advancing our oral antibody product through the key efficacy studies needed to support the product's use as a nuclear threat countermeasure,” says Barbara Fox, Avaxia CEO. “This contract will permit us to complete the preclinical pharmacology studies for this potential therapy.”

Besides providing the company with additional scientific infrastructure, the research to be conducted on this therapeutic will contribute to and support Avaxia’s innovative technology platform and bolster work being done in the related field of inflammatory bowel disease, Fox adds. “Also, should the project meet its targets, the manufacturing and sales of a radiation mitigation drug will increase the commercial opportunities for the company."

Avaxia is focused on developing oral antibody therapeutics that act locally within the gastrointestinal tract. The antibodies are designed to treat both diseases of the GI tract and metabolic diseases. Using its antibody platform, Avaxia is developing products for inflammatory bowel disease, oral mucositis, celiac disease, diabetes, and obesity.