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.

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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Film shot entirely in Arizona financed by Tucson investors

by Curtis Gunn on March 16th, 2016 at 5:43pm

This is the story of a movie shot completely in Arizona, with talent from the state’s universities in front of and behind the camera, and a production fully financed by Tucson investors.

No, it’s not science fiction.

The film, “There and Back,” is a love letter to Arizona by writer and director Marcus de Leon, who wanted to create a project that took advantage of all the local talent he had met as a volunteer fellow at the University of Arizona’s Hanson Film Institute.

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SynCardia releases early findings on 50cc temporary Total Artificial Heart

by Curtis Gunn on March 9th, 2016 at 6:44pm

SynCardia Systems, Inc. announced that between December 2014 through Wednesday, February 24, 2016, 23 patients (70% female, compared to the historical average of only 12% for the larger 70cc TAH-t) have been implanted with the new 50cc SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart (TAH-t).

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Desert Angels Supports Creative Economy, Adds Film Investment to Portfolio

by Curtis Gunn on March 7th, 2016 at 6:54pm

Tucson-based investment group Desert Angels, which usually invests in tech and biotech companies, has now expanded its portfolio to the creative economy, backing its first film, “There and Back”.

The film, a family road trip drama, is currently in post-production editing. Notably, it was written and directed by Marcus De Leon, best known as the writer/director of The Big Squeeze, and stars Lara Flynn Boyle. The movie will go on the worldwide film festival circuit this fall to search for a distributor.

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