Avaxia Biologics is Awarded U.S. Patent for Antibody Therapy for Modulating Function of Intestinal Receptors and Methods of Treating Diabetes and Obesity

LEXINGTON, Mass., Sept. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Avaxia Biologics, Inc., a privately-held biotechnology company developing oral antibody drugs that act locally within the digestive tract, announced today that the company was awarded U.S. Patent 8,268,971, entitled "Antibody Therapy for Modulating Function of Intestinal Receptors and Methods of Treating Diabetes and Obesity."

The patent covers milk derived antibody compositions that specifically target and modulate an apical intestinal receptor and which are formulated for direct delivery to the gastrointestinal tract of a patient.  The patent also covers treatment of diabetes or obesity by using these antibodies to modulate a sugar receptor.  The types of intestinal receptors disclosed in the patent are very broad, and include sugar transporters, ion channels, sensors, and bile acid transporters.

"This patent highlights the broad applicability of our AVX Oral Antibody technology platform," stated Barbara Fox, PhD, CEO of Avaxia.  "Our oral antibodies can address membrane bound targets as well as soluble targets such as TNF for inflammatory bowel disease and radiation induced damage to the mouth and intestines.  Membrane bound targets such as sugar transporters have been implicated in diabetes and obesity, which are very attractive markets for our oral antibodies."

About Avaxia Biologics:

Avaxia is developing orally administered antibody therapeutics that act locally within the digestive tract.  Antibodies are widely used as therapeutics, with nearly $50 billion in annual sales worldwide.  Ordinary antibodies are injected or infused rather than administered orally because they are destroyed in the digestive tract.  In contrast, we have developed proprietary antibodies that resist digestion.  Our lead product is an oral antibody against tumor necrosis factor (TNF) for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).  Existing anti-TNF drugs have proven effective for IBD but have serious immunosuppression side effects because they affect the entire body, not just the gastrointestinal (GI) tract where the inflammation occurs.  The goal of our IBD program is to deliver our anti-TNF antibody locally in the GI tract to minimize side effects from systemic drug exposure.  Avaxia also has programs in GI acute radiation syndrome, celiac disease, oral mucositis, diabetes, and obesity.

SOURCE Avaxia Biologics, Inc.