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 80 members, who invest individually from their personal funds. Since 2000, Desert Angel members have invested over $41.5 million in more than 99 presenting companies.

Tucson Tech: New radiation treatment for eye disease advances

by Curtis Gunn on June 21st, 2017 at 10:58pm

The medical instrument that Tucson-based startup Salutaris Medical Devices is developing can give you the willies, with a hook designed to be inserted behind the eye.

Despite the high yuck factor, Salutaris’ new method for radiation treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration offers new hope for patients with a major cause of age-related blindness.

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Independent Data Monitoring Committee Recommends Continuation of Cancer Prevention Pharmaceuticals’ Phase 3 Trial for Familial Adenomatous Polyposis Patients

by Curtis Gunn on June 12th, 2017 at 7:37pm

Cancer Prevention Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (CPP), a private biotech company developing novel therapeutics to prevent cancer and other diseases, announced today that an Independent Data Monitoring Committee (IDMC), following a planned interim futility analysis, recommended continuation of the company’s pivotal Phase 3 trial, CPP FAP-310, evaluating CPP-1X/sulindac for adults with familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP).

“The IDMC’s recommendation to continue this ongoing pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial is an important win for FAP patients and an important clinical milestone for CPP,” said Jeff Jacob, Chair and CEO of the company. “We look forward to completing the trial and bringing to market a first-in-class pharmaco-prevention therapeutic.”

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Arizona Commerce Authority Announces Grant Awardees in the Spring 2017 Arizona Innovation Challenge

by Curtis Gunn on June 6th, 2017 at 5:30pm

*Desert Angel Portfolio Companies ClickIPO and Codelucida receive AIC grants*

The Spring 2017 round of the Arizona Innovation Challenge (AIC) has concluded as the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) today announced six awardees in its bi-annual business plan competition.
The ACA provides $3 million in grants annually to the most qualified, innovative startups and early-stage companies. Each company receives up to $250,000 in capital to grow their business — advancing innovation and technology commercialization opportunities in Arizona.

Companies located anywhere in the world may apply, so long as they plan to establish operations and commercialize their product or service in Arizona if they are awarded an AIC grant.

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NuvOx Pharma: Breathing new life into an old contrasting agent

by Curtis Gunn on June 2nd, 2017 at 5:35pm

In 2008, Evan Unger acquired rights to a contrasting agent approved for use in Europe, dodecafluoropentane emulsion (DDFPe).

It was never marketed for competitive reasons, the story goes, but Unger saw potential beyond imaging. So after negotiating rights, he launched his third startup, NuvOx Pharma, with an aim to treat various forms of hypoxia (oxygen deficiency).

It was a good idea, according to judges of the Pitch Perfect competition at the MedCity INVEST conference in May. Unger’s pitch took first place in the biopharma track.

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Arizona Technology Council Rallies the Technology Community to Successfully Recapitalize the Angel Investment Tax Credit

by Curtis Gunn on May 22nd, 2017 at 5:38pm

Governor Doug Ducey signed House Bill 2191 today, authorizing $2.5 million a year for the next four years into the Angel Investor Tax Credit program for capital infusions into early-stage startup companies. The Arizona Technology Council and its Public Policy Committee were successful in gaining support for the bill by rallying Arizona’s technology community and leading efforts to lobby for recapitalization.

“The recapitalization of the Angel Investor Tax Credit program has been a top priority for the Council since the original $20 million in tax credits ran out in 2015,” said Steven G. Zylstra, president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council. “The initial program showed a direct return on investment of more than 2.2 to 1 in tax revenue. Today’s signing is a major success for our startup technology community and reinforces that Arizona is open for business.”

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Tucson’s Vector successfully launches rocket

by Curtis Gunn on May 17th, 2017 at 9:11pm

Vector, a Tucson-based startup that plans to launch micro-satellites in space, successfully launched a prototype of its Vector-R rocket for the first time Wednesday from a site near Mohave, California.

The flight makes Vector the first of a cadre of emerging small-launch companies to successfully test a launch vehicle.

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Tucson Tech: Rocket firm surging ahead on all fronts

by Curtis Gunn on April 22nd, 2017 at 10:51pm

The Tucson-based rocket company Vector is hurtling ahead on all fronts as it moves to build out its Tucson factory and start commercial rocket launches as soon as next year.

Founded just last year, Vector is building small rockets to launch a growing class of micro-satellites into orbit.

The company was founded by a group of space veterans including CEO Jim Cantrell, an alumnus of Elon Musk’s SpaceX, and John Garvey, a veteran of space programs at Boeing and McDonnell Douglas who ran his own spacecraft company for 16 years before merging it with Vector.

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Tucson aerospace startup raises $4.5 million, hiring up to 100 employees

by Curtis Gunn on April 19th, 2017 at 10:53pm

Tucson-based Vector, developer of what it calls the world’s smallest satellite launcher rocket, has raised $4.5 million in a bridge round.

The aerospace startup’s bridge round — between its seed and Series A rounds — was raised from a majority of Arizona investors, including Tucson-based Desert Angels; Arizona Technology Investors and Kurrent Investment from Phoenix; and angel investors from Tucson.

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HTG Molecular Diagnostics and Daiichi Sankyo Complete Master Services Agreement

by Curtis Gunn on April 17th, 2017 at 9:00pm

HTG Molecular Diagnostics, Inc. (Nasdaq:HTGM), a provider of instruments, reagents and services for molecular profiling applications, announced that it has entered into a master services agreement with Daiichi Sankyo Company, Limited (Daiichi Sankyo) for work to be performed in HTG’s VERI/O laboratory. The initial project includes the development of a custom assay for the detection of nearly 3,000 mRNA targets using the HTG EdgeSeq technology.

When completed, the custom assay will be used to generate data from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples. Daiichi Sankyo plans to use these data to identify a tumor profiling assay for future studies under the agreement. Daiichi Sankyo also has engaged HTG to process several hundred FFPE samples using the HTG EdgeSeq ALKPlus Assay EU in a research use only mode for exploratory research on new, potential therapeutic biomarkers.

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The NHLBI Grants NuvOx Pharma a 300K Grant to Study the Effects of Their Oxygen Therapeutic on Myocardial Infarction in a Pig Model

by Curtis Gunn on April 14th, 2017 at 9:08pm

Tucson, AZ, April 14, 2017 –(PR.com)– Evan Unger, MD, President and CEO of NuvOx Pharma, announced that NuvOx Pharma has been awarded a grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) entitled “Dodecafluoropentane Prevents Ischemia Reperfusion Injury in Contemporary Acute Myocardial Infarction Management,” for a total of $317,743. This grant will be used to support research to study NVX-308 as a cardioprotectant to reduce damage to the heart following myocardial infarction.

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