Welcome to the Desert Angels™. We are a Tucson, Arizona based non-profit organization of accredited investors who seek opportunities to invest in Southwest regional startup or early stage companies. The organization serves as a forum for its over 90 members, who invest individually from their personal funds. Since 2000, Desert Angel members have invested over $37 million in more than 85 presenting companies.

Playability Toys Nurture Smart Mobile Named Finalist for 2016 IDSA International Design Excellence Award

by Curtis Gunn on July 26th, 2016 at 4:50pm

Playability Toys, a leading maker of therapeutic toys and apps that enhance and improve the lives of children and their families, today announced that its Nurture Smart Mobile is an Industrial Designers Society of America’s (IDSA) 2016 International Design Excellence Award (IDEA) finalist in the Children’s Products category. The first and only clinical grade mobile of its kind, the Nurture Smart Mobile was judged by renowned design experts around the world among a field of more than 1,700 designs projects from 30-plus countries.

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HTG Molecular Diagnostics and Firalis Announce Agreement to Develop a Theranostic Tool to Predict Response to Anti-TNF-alpha Therapies for Rheumatoid Arthritis

by Curtis Gunn on July 19th, 2016 at 1:37pm

HTG Molecular Diagnostics, Inc. (Nasdaq:HTGM) (“HTG”), a provider of instruments and reagents for molecular profiling applications, and Firalis S.A. (“Firalis”), a provider of bioanalytical services and biomarker-based products to biopharma, to biotechnology companies, and to academia, announced an agreement to develop a next‑generation sequencing (NGS)-based theranostic tool to identify likely non-responders from responders to anti‑TNFα therapy for rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

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‘Huntsman’ tie-in a hit for Tucson game studio

by Curtis Gunn on July 11th, 2016 at 8:33pm

Tucson-based video game development studio Desert Owl Games continues to grow, with the launch of a “Huntsman” movie tie-in game, the 10-year anniversary of its biggest title and upcoming work with Sony.

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HTG Molecular Diagnostics Announces VERI/O Laboratory Service

by Curtis Gunn on June 27th, 2016 at 5:18pm

HTG Molecular Diagnostics, Inc. (Nasdaq:HTGM), a provider of instruments and reagents for molecular profiling applications, announced the introduction of its Tucson‑based VERI/O laboratory service, offering laboratory support for its biopharma clients in biomarker research and companion diagnostic development.

The VERI/O laboratory service formalizes and expands HTG’s traditional service offerings, including molecular profiling of retrospective cohorts to support development of targeted and immuno-oncology therapies, building custom research-use-only (RUO) assays to support early stage clinical programs, and developing companion diagnostic assays for use in Phase III registration trials.

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Man lives 555 days without a heart

by Curtis Gunn on June 21st, 2016 at 7:04pm

“It feels like a real heart”

It’s not the first time a patient has lived for a long time with an artificial heart, but Larkin became the first patient in Michigan to go home with the portable device.

The SynCardia temporary artificial heart in Larkin’s chest replaced his failing heart, including its chambers and four valves. Two tubes, exiting the left side of Stan’s body beneath the ribcage, connected the artificial heart to a 13-pound machine called the Freedom Driver.

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NuvOx Pharma Awarded STTR Grant from NCI for Ultrasound Contrast Agent to Diagnose Pancreatic Cancer

by Curtis Gunn on May 26th, 2016 at 7:20pm

Evan Unger, MD, President and CEO of NuvOx Pharma, a Tucson based biotechnology company, announced that the company has been awarded a grant from the National Cancer Institute to develop an ultrasound contrast agent to diagnose pancreatic cancer. The Phase I Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant is a joint development project between NuvOx and Stanford University. The two principal investigators on the project are Drs. Unger and Juergen Willmann, MD, Chief of Body Imaging, Professor of Radiology, Stanford University, School of Medicine.

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ReplyBuy Nominated for Best in Mobile Fan Experience, Further Solidifying Its Market Presence

by Curtis Gunn on April 27th, 2016 at 5:45pm

ReplyBuy, the global sales platform that combines mobile messaging, payments and digital commerce, continues to experience rapid growth within its initial launch market. Sports and entertainment are the company’s first industry verticals. Over the past year, there has been a significant increase in the number of organizations that have embraced ReplyBuy to power instant mobile sales by removing the friction that typically accompanies event-related consumer transactions. In addition to public-facing exposure, the company is also experiencing notoriety among peers and industry authorities.

ReplyBuy was recently honored for its innovative solution and proven results with some significant award nominations. The company was nominated in the category of “Best in Mobile Fan Experience” for the 2016 Sports Business Awards, hosted by the Sports Business Journal. Nominees were announced on March 14 and winners will be announced on May 18 in New York City at the New York Marriott Marquis at Times Square. This nomination is especially significant to ReplyBuy because of the vast number of sports teams that trust its solution to help them engage with their fans

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HTG Molecular Diagnostics Expands Distribution into Israel, Spain and Portugal

by Curtis Gunn on April 20th, 2016 at 8:18pm

HTG Molecular Diagnostics, Inc. (Nasdaq:HTGM), (“HTG”), a provider of instruments and reagents for molecular profiling applications, today announced distribution agreements with Gamidor Diagnostics (“Gamidor”) in Israel and Durviz s.l. Parque Tecnológico de Valencia (“Durviz”) in Spain and Portugal to manage distribution of HTG’s next generation sequencing (NGS)-based products.

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Clinical Trial Evaluating CPP-1X/sulindac in Patients with Familial Adenomatous Polyposis

by Curtis Gunn on April 4th, 2016 at 7:38pm

Cancer Prevention Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (CPP), a private biotech company developing novel therapeutics to prevent cancer and other diseases, announced today that target enrollment has been achieved for the company’s pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial, CPP FAP-310, evaluating CPP-1X/sulindac in adults with familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). FAP is a rare genetic disease that, if untreated, progresses to colorectal cancer in almost all cases. The trial has enrolled 166 patients at 21 research institutes in the United States, Canada and Europe.

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Tax credits for Arizona angel investors up to Legislature

by Curtis Gunn on March 31st, 2016 at 4:39pm

Supporters of state tax credits for angel investors are hoping the Legislature will fund the program this year after investment in Arizona companies dropped off dramatically in 2015.

“When the credits ran out, our investment activity fell off a cliff,” said Curtis Gunn, chairman of Tucson’s Desert Angels.

In 2014, Desert Angels was the third most active investment group in the country, investing almost $7 million into 32 companies. Over the first half of 2015, the group invested about $3.5 million into approximately 20 companies, Gunn said.

“Tax credits ran out in June and the second half of the year we invested less than half a million dollars,” he said, adding that the start of 2016 is on par. “I’ve had members directly say they’re not investing because the tax credits went away.”

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