Avaxia Biologics is Awarded Patent for its Proprietary Orally Active Antibody for Celiac Disease

LEXINGTON,  Mass., Dec. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Avaxia Biologics, Inc., a privately-held biotech company developing oral antibody drugs that act locally within the gastrointestinal tract, announced today that the company was awarded U.S. Patent 8,071,101, "Antibody Therapy for Treatment of Diseases Associated With Gluten Intolerance."

This patent, which expires on May 27, 2029, provides broad coverage for treating celiac disease using orally administered antibodies produced by the Company's proprietary platform technology.  This newly issued patent includes claims covering the composition of matter for Avaxia's AVX-176 antibody, currently in development for celiac disease.

"We are pleased to receive this new patent," stated Barbara Fox, PhD, CEO of Avaxia Biologics.  "This is an important milestone for our company as it is our first issued patent and it validates that the company can obtain composition of matter claims for products derived from our antibody technology platform.  We are actively building a strong IP portfolio with additional patent applications that will cover the broad range of disease applications the company has created with its oral antibody technology."

Dr. Fox added, "This first patent covers AVX-176, an orally administered antibody designed to bind to gluten, the dietary protein that provokes celiac disease in susceptible patients.  We are currently conducting an NIH supported program to advance the development of AVX-176 into pre-clinical models of celiac disease.  Preliminary in vitro data are encouraging and we hope to be able to develop a product in the near future."

About celiac disease: Celiac disease is an inherited, autoimmune disease in which the lining of the small intestine is damaged from eating gluten and other proteins found in wheat, barley, rye, and possibly oats.  Celiac disease is also known as celiac sprue, nontropical sprue, and gluten-sensitive enteropathy.  The disease can develop at any point in life, from infancy to late adulthood.  The symptoms of celiac disease can vary significantly from person to person with the most common being abdominal bloating and pain, chronic diarrhea, vomiting, constipation and weight loss.  There is no medication available to treat the disease.  Patients must follow a lifelong gluten-free diet in an attempt to avoid symptoms.  More than 2 million people in the United States have the disease, or about 1 in 133 people. 

About Avaxia Biologics, Inc.: Avaxia Biologics is a development-stage company 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 proprietary antibody platform, Avaxia is developing products for inflammatory bowel disease, GI acute radiation syndrome, celiac disease, oral mucositis, diabetes and obesity.



SOURCE Avaxia Biologics, Inc.