LEXINGTON, Mass.--March 26, 2013--Avaxia Biologics, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing gut-targeted therapeutics, announced today that Deborah S. Hartman, Ph.D. has joined the company as Vice President, Research.
Dr. Hartman is a scientist and senior executive with over 20 years of experience successfully leading international pharmaceutical research and development functions in multiple therapeutic areas. Before joining Avaxia, Dr. Hartman held a number of executive level roles at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, most recently as Vice President of Projects in Innovative Medicines covering lead optimization through early clinical development in infectious diseases. Previous positions included Vice President of Respiratory & Inflammation Research UK and Vice President of Lead Generation DECS, a global science and technology group supporting early-stage projects in eight disease areas across twelve AstraZeneca R&D sites. Prior to joining AstraZeneca, Dr. Hartman spent seven years at Hoffmann-La Roche in Basel, Switzerland, as a Project Leader and Principal Scientist in nervous system diseases. Dr. Hartman received her A.B. in Molecular Biology from Princeton University and Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Physiology from Yale University.
"I am thrilled to join Avaxia at this exciting time," said Dr. Hartman. "Our lead product, AVX-470, is being evaluated in a Phase 1b study in patients with active ulcerative colitis. This is the first clinical stage product from the Avaxia technology platform, which produces antibody drugs that resist digestion so that they can be taken orally and act on receptors, antigens, and soluble proteins in the digestive tract. Because these drugs are only minimally absorbed into the bloodstream, this approach also has tremendous potential to reduce side effects in patients as compared to drugs that travel throughout the body."
Barbara S. Fox, Ph.D., CEO of Avaxia, added, "Debbie has a strong track record of delivering new drugs into the clinic and managing early clinical development. In addition to leading research efforts on AVX-470, Debbie will expand our pipeline of gut-targeted oral antibody therapeutics through internal efforts and external collaborations. I would also like to thank Dan Tracey, our former Vice President, Research, for his many contributions to Avaxia and to wish him well in his retirement. We are grateful that Dan will continue to support Avaxia as a consultant."
About Avaxia Biologics
Avaxia is a leader in the growing field of gut-targeted therapeutics — orally administered, minimally absorbed drugs that are designed to act locally in the gastrointestinal tract. Avaxia's lead clinical candidate, AVX-470, is an oral anti-TNF antibody for inflammatory bowel disease. This transformative product offers potentially improved safety and efficacy over existing anti-TNF therapies by focusing immune suppression only where needed in the diseased gut. Avaxia is using its proprietary oral antibody platform to develop gut-targeted therapeutics to address many other serious diseases such as type 2 diabetes, celiac disease, GI acute radiation syndrome and oral mucositis.www.avaxiabiologics.
Avaxia Biologics, Inc.
Barbara S. Fox, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer
Michael D. Rivard
VP Corporate Development
MacDougall Biomedical Communications
Jen Conrad or Charles Liles, 781-235-3060
[email protected] or clile