February 29, 2012 at 08:15 AM EST
Courtagen to Partner with Avaxia Biologics in GI Acute Radiation Syndrome Initiative

Courtagen Life Sciences, Inc. (“Courtagen”), a privately held life sciences company that provides innovative proteomic and genomic products and services to the life sciences industry, today announced that it has entered into a strategic collaboration with Avaxia Biologics, Inc. (“Avaxia”) to develop an assay that will streamline the development of an oral antibody therapy to mitigate the gastrointestinal damage that follows radiation exposure that might occur after a nuclear incident. The combined effort will focus on addressing the critical need to quickly and accurately identify the impact of Avaxia’s oral antibody therapy in animal models and, ultimately, in patients.

The collaboration provides validation of the Courtagen protein diagnostic technology by a recognized leader in oral antibody therapeutics. Together the two companies will pursue a first in class solution that could enable the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and other Federal biodefense programs to achieve their goal of developing therapeutics to mitigate the damage to the gastrointestinal tract that follows severe whole body exposure to ionizing radiation.

"The unmatched sensitivity, accuracy and ease of use of Courtagen’s Avantra® Q400 Protein Biomarker Technology combined with Avaxia’s novel oral anti-TNF therapy will enable Avaxia to quickly stratify and monitor various therapeutic interventions that will eventually lead to the creation of a treatment for gastrointestinal damage,” said Brendan McKernan, President of Courtagen Life Sciences. “The outcomes of this partnership have the potential to make a significant impact on biodefense, public health and drug development initiatives.”

“We are pleased to be working with Courtagen to develop novel assays to be used in our gastrointestinal acute radiation program,” said Dr. Barbara Fox, CEO of Avaxia. “The goal of this collaboration will be to accelerate the progress of our oral antibody product through the key efficacy studies needed to support the product's use as a nuclear threat countermeasure.“

About Courtagen Protein Diagnostics

Courtagen has developed a next-generation, POC protein biomarker technology, called the Avantra® Q400 Biomarker Workstation and QPDx® BioChip. This technology is ideal for users who operate in a decentralized environment and require on-demand testing of biomarkers. The protein diagnostics technology provides users with an integrated system that automates sample processing, reagent handling, biomarker detection and analysis. This unmatched simplicity minimizes user error and affords precision with limited operator training.

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. Avaxia’s program to develop a treatment agent for GI acute radiation syndrome is supported by a contract from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).

About Courtagen Life Sciences, Inc.

Courtagen Life Sciences is a privately held life science company that provides innovative proteomic and genomic products and services to the Life Sciences industry. Founded by innovators in next-generation sequencing (NGS), genetics, molecular biology, and information science, our company delivers tools that enable researchers and clinicians to make better decisions regarding drug development and patient care. Courtagen provides proteomic and genomic solutions through its various operating divisions. More information can be found at www.courtagen.com.

Contacts:

Courtagen
Elizabeth Holland, 617-892-7178
Vice President
or
Avaxia Biologics
Barbara S. Fox, PhD, 781-861-0062 x303
CEO
or
(Media)
Suda Communications LLC
Maureen L. Suda, 585-387-9248
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