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 100 members, who invest individually from their personal funds. Since 2000, Desert Angel members have invested over $29 million in more than 70 presenting companies.

Stem cell therapy could lead to HIV cure

by chrismarin on August 7th, 2014 at 4:03pm

Desert Angels portfolio company Calimmune is recognized for being at the forefont of developing a practical cure for people living with HIV infection.

Special note: The article erroneously credits the company as a San Diego based company – Calimmune is a Tucson based company.

For more: Stem cell therapy could lead to HIV cure

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Filed under: Funded Companies, Press

NuvOx announces Phase Ib trial for Glioblastoma and additional NIH funding

by chrismarin on August 7th, 2014 at 3:42pm

NuvOx Pharma, a privately held biotechnology company based in Tucson, Arizona, announced that on July 14th, it began a Phase Ib clinical trial of its new drug NVX-108 in patients with glioblastoma, a deadly form of brain cancer.

For more: NuvOx announces Phase Ib trial for Glioblastoma and additional NIH funding

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Filed under: News Releases, Press

Contatta’s collaborative email now available for free public beta testing

by chrismarin on August 6th, 2014 at 12:17am

Contatta, the Scottsdale-based creator of the email application, announced Monday it is now free for anyone who wants to sign up online. It will become a paid service in the fall. Contatta is designed to address four common problems: collaboration and discussions with others, task management, contact management and keeping files handy.

For more: Contatta’s collaborative email now available for free public beta testing

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Filed under: Funded Companies, Press

One of the best ways to become an angel investor in early-stage private companies is to join a local angel group.

by Curtis Gunn on July 28th, 2014 at 4:26pm

A very good article from David Rose (founder and Chair Emeritus of New York Angels) regarding the value that can come from joining a formal angel group.

The benefits of joining a [angel] group include pooling deal flow and capital, domain expertise, and investing experience. Most groups run regular education sessions for new members and provide mentoring for less-experienced investors.

Full Article on Marketwatch.

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Calimmune Approved to Treat Second Group in HIV Stem Cell Gene Modification Study

by Curtis Gunn on July 21st, 2014 at 5:26pm

Calimmune today announced encouraging safety data from its innovative gene-based stem cell therapy, Cal-1-being developed to help cure individuals infected with HIV. The company can now begin treating the second group of patients in the trial, which is being funded in part by a grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).

Link to Full Article.

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HTG receives US patent for HTG EdgeSeq chemistry

by Curtis Gunn on July 21st, 2014 at 5:18pm

HTG Molecular Diagnostics, a provider of instruments and reagents for translational research and molecular diagnostics, today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued U.S. Patent No. 8,741,564 claiming a method for using quantitative nuclease protection technology in combination with next-generation-sequencing.

Link to Full Article.

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FDA approves SynCardia’s artificial-heart power pack

by chrismarin on July 18th, 2014 at 6:51pm

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given the nod to Tucson-based SynCardia Systems Inc. to begin marketing in the U.S. its Freedom portable driver that powers the company’s total artificial heart.

Not only does that mean the company will begin hiring more people to make and sell the device, but it also means reducing the length of stay in hospitals for heart transplant patients. Before SynCardia invented the Freedom portable driver, U.S. patients were stuck in the hospital for years because the power pack that charges the company’s artificial heart was too big to allow patients to move around freely.

For more: FDA approves SynCardia’s artificial-heart power pack

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Filed under: Funded Companies, Press

Phoenix tech is scorching: Now where are the VCs?

by chrismarin on July 11th, 2014 at 8:18am

The “Silicon Desert,” as locals call it, is thriving, with start-ups taking advantage of the lower cost of living, tight-knit community and talent. What it’s not attracting yet is considerable outside venture capital investment — but the entrepreneurs say that could all change with just one big hit.

Most of the local seeding comes from personal and angel investors. A Tucson-based group, Desert Angels, is the eighth-most active angel investment group, according to the Angel Resource Institute.

For more: Phoenix tech is scorching: Now where are the VCs?

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Sialix Changes Name to Siamab Therapeutics

by chrismarin on July 11th, 2014 at 7:44am
Sialix, Inc., a biotechnology company developing cancer
immunotherapies, today announced that the company has changed its name to Siamab Therapeutics. In
addition, the company announced that it has received an additional $2 million in funding as part of its Series
B, bringing the total raised to $6 million.

Sialix, Inc., a biotechnology company developing cancer immunotherapies, today announced that the company has changed its name to Siamab Therapeutics. In addition, the company announced that it has received an additional $2 million in funding as part of its Series B, bringing the total raised to $6 million.

For more: Sialix Changes Name to Siamab Therapeutics

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PlayAbility Toys Provides Kids a Special Kind of Play

by chrismarin on July 9th, 2014 at 2:15am

Desert Angels portfolio company PlayAbility Toys is highlighted as one of the few companies dedicated to creating toys for special needs children.

For more: PlayAbility Toys Provides Kids a Special Kind of Play

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Filed under: Funded Companies, Press