Avaxia Biologics, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing gut-targeted therapeutics, announced today that the company closed its Series B financing with total proceeds of $11.4 million. The round was led by Cherrystone Angels and Golden Seeds.
Previous investors Beacon Angels, Boston Harbor Angels, Launchpad Venture Group, Mass Medical Angels, North Country Angels, the Beta Fund, Granite State Angels, the Keiretsu Forum, Maine Angels, and individual investors, all participated in the round. They were joined by Ariel Southeast Angel Partners, and Tech Coast Angels. AbbVie Biotech Ventures—the VC arm of the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical business spun out by Abbott Laboratories in January—has become Avaxia’s first institutional investor and joined the group.
“I have been building relationships with the angel community for many years – talking to and presenting to New England life sciences angel groups for over 5 years,” says Avaxia CEO Barbara Fox. “Our Series A financing was composed entirely of New England angel groups, and we branched out to a national syndicate for the Series B. Our board and existing angel base was instrumental in facilitating those discussions.”
Avaxia has now raised $15.5 million in equity and about $6 million in non-dilutive grants and contracts since its inception, Fox says.
This is the second very large angel syndication announced this year. Recently, Savara Pharmaceuticals’, based in Austin, Texas, raised $16 million in a round led by the Tech Coast Angels. Three other angel networks -- Keiretsu Forum, the Central Texas Angel Network and the North Texas Angel Network – also participated. “Completing a Series B of this size with 100 percent angel money is a major accomplishment,” said Sergio Gurrieri, who helped orchestrate Tech Coast Angels evaluation of Savara. “It demonstrates Tech Coast Angels’ increasing effectiveness at syndicating deals with other angel networks to raise larger rounds and drive innovation.”
At that time we wrote “Here in New England, we’ve managed a $2 Million syndication, but we’ll have to reach higher to follow the example of our colleagues out West.” We just reached higher. Particular congratulations to the Tech Coast Angels and the Keiretsu Forum for participating in both of these very large financings, demonstrating once again the emerging power of angel syndication.
Avaxia will primarily use the proceeds of this round to advance the clinical development of its lead program, AVX-470, for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
The Series B financing represents an important milestone for Avaxia in the process of developing a safe, effective, oral therapy for patients suffering from IBD. We're pleased to have David Donabedian of AbbVie join our board and engage their expertise in gastroenterology as we advance the development of innovative, gut-targeted therapeutics like AVX-470, said Barbara S. Fox, CEO of Avaxia.