Avaxia Biologics, a privately-held biotech company based in Lexington, Mass., has received a second round of funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop orally-active antibody therapeutics for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
The phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant was awarded to Avaxia by a branch of NIH, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. The grant awards $1.5 million in funding over two years and was based on the successful completion of a phase I SBIR award that demonstrated efficacy of AVX-470 in mouse model systems of inflammatory bowel disease.
"Generated under prior funding of the NIH, our orally active anti-TNF antibody significantly reduced inflammatory bowel disease severity in three different animal models and showed superior efficacy to an oral steroid drug in a comparative test of disease remission,” said Barbara S. Fox, founder and CEO, Avaxia. “With these impressive results, and with the support of this phase II SBIR grant, Avaxia plans to enter into clinical trials with AVX-470 in patients with IBD this year. AVX-470 appears to be on track to be the first orally-active anti-TNF antibody for IBD."