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Avaxia Biologics is Awarded U.S. Patent for Method to Treat Radiation Damage to the Digestive Tract and Mucositis Caused by Radiation

LEXINGTON, Mass., May 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Avaxia Biologics, Inc., a privately-held biotechnology company developing oral antibody drugs that act locally within the gastrointestinal tract, announced today that the company was awarded U.S. Patent 8,182,818, entitled "Methods of Using Anti-TNF Antibodies for Treating Radiation Damage to the Digestive Tract."

This patent provides broad coverage for using topically administered anti-TNF antibodies to treat radiation induced damage to the digestive tract.  Importantly, the patent specifically covers treatment of radiation induced mucositis, which is a common side effect of radiation therapy for cancer that often limits the effective radiation dose a patient can tolerate.  Avaxia has active research and development programs for its oral antibody AVX-470 for use in gastrointestinal acute radiation syndrome (GI-ARS) and mucositis. 

"This new patent emphasizes the innovative nature and broad applicability of our AVX Oral Antibody technology platform," stated Barbara Fox, PhD, CEO of Avaxia.  "For many cancer patients, the side effect of mucositis becomes intolerable, which causes terrible discomfort and may limit the dose of radiation that the patient receives to fight the disease.  Also, effective treatments for radiation damage are an important need for responding to potential terrorist attacks involving radioactive substances. Much of the morbidity and mortality associated with total body irradiation is due to damage to the GI tract. We are actively working to prove that AVX-470 can reduce that damage."

Avaxia has a $2.9 million contract from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to develop its oral anti-TNF antibody, AVX-470, for GI ARS. The work under this current contract explores the potential for the antibody to be further developed into a medical countermeasure to mitigate gastrointestinal damage from radiation exposure.

About Avaxia Biologics, Inc.: Avaxia is developing orally administered antibody therapeutics that act locally within the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.  Antibodies are widely used as therapeutics, with nearly $50 billion in annual sales worldwide.  Ordinary antibodies are not administered orally because they are destroyed in the GI tract.  In contrast, Avaxia has developed proprietary antibodies that are stable in the GI tract.  AVX Oral Antibodies make diseases with targets in the GI tract accessible to antibody therapeutics for the first time.  Avaxia is developing products for inflammatory bowel disease, GI acute radiation syndrome, celiac disease, oral mucositis, diabetes, and obesity. 

SOURCE Avaxia Biologics, Inc.
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