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 $43.5 million in more than 101 presenting companies.

EndoVantage Secures 510(k) Clearance from FDA for SurgicalPreview™

by Curtis Gunn on November 9th, 2017 at 4:42pm

SCOTTSDALE, AZ – November 8, 2017 – EndoVantage, LLC, a pioneer in cloud-based medical simulation technology, today announced its receipt of 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for SurgicalPreview™, its preoperative planning system for the endovascular treatment of cerebral aneurysms.

A cerebral aneurysm is a weak spot in a blood vessel in the brain that balloons out and fills with blood. Aneurysms may burst and bleed into the brain, causing serious complications, including hemorrhagic stroke, permanent nerve damage, or death. Treatment includes the use of a device to divert blood flow away from the aneurysm. It can be challenging to select the precise size of device for a patient’s artery and to place it correctly. SurgicalPreview™ enables the clinician to plan the procedure before surgery and visualize how the device fits.

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The rocket company that aims to undercut SpaceX on cost will launch 3 missions from Virginia in 2018

by Curtis Gunn on October 19th, 2017 at 11:15pm

Rocket company Vector will conduct three commercial missions from Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops launch center.

This is the first orbital contract with a spaceport for Vector, the next major step toward the company’s goal of launching more than 100 times per year, chief executive Jim Cantrell told CNBC in an exclusive interview.

“These will go all the way into orbit with satellites onboard,” Cantrell said. “We need to break the classic handcuffs on the costs of launching, and that requires people thinking differently.”

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Tucson Tech: Two local companies cited for inventions aiding military

by Curtis Gunn on October 18th, 2017 at 11:13pm

Two Tucson-area companies showcased new technologies to the Department of Defense recently after winning national honors for innovation.

Biotech drug startup NuvOx Pharma and drone watercraft maker Hydronalix Inc., were among more than 100 companies awarded the 2017 TechConnect Defense Innovation Award.

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National Cancer Institute Awards Grant to NuvOx Pharma for Phase II Clinical Trial in Brain Cancer

by Curtis Gunn on September 29th, 2017 at 6:44pm

The National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute (NCI) has awarded a grant for up to $3 million to NuvOx Pharma to initiate a Phase II clinical trial for the investigational drug, NVX-108, in the brain cancer, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).

NVX-108 is an injectable drug that travels through the bloodstream, arriving first at the lungs to pick up oxygen and finally to hypoxic tissue, where it passively delivers the oxygen. It is designed to reduce tumor hypoxia in order to make tumors more sensitive to radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

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HTG Announces Issuance of Two Method Patents Related to its Technology

by Curtis Gunn on September 21st, 2017 at 8:55pm

HTG Molecular Diagnostics, Inc. (Nasdaq:HTGM), a provider of instruments, reagents, and services for molecular profiling applications, today announced the United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued two U.S. Patents covering HTG’s technology and applications of its technology.

“The newly issued patents substantiate the proprietary nature of our business and represent an important step in protecting our technology and its applications,” stated TJ Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of HTG. “As we grow, we will continue to pursue additional protection around our instrument portfolio and our testing methods and their applications in the U.S. and in other regions and countries.”

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Tucson Tech: Calimmune deal is latest in string of tech startup buyouts

by Curtis Gunn on September 3rd, 2017 at 3:25pm

**Calimmune, Instant BioScan and Medical Referral Source were all Desert Angels deals and fall into the “string of tech startup buyouts”**

This week’s $91 million acquisition of Tucson biotech drug startup Calimmune Inc. by a global drug company is fresh evidence of the Old Pueblo’s ability to nurture promising tech companies.

The deal by Australia-based CSL Ltd. for Calimmune is the biggest and latest in a string of buyouts of Tucson-based tech startups in the last few years.

In addition to a $91 million upfront payment, CSL could end up paying up to $325 million in performance payments over several years for Calimmune.

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Tucson’s Calimmune to be acquired by Australian drug giant

by Curtis Gunn on August 29th, 2017 at 7:53pm

**Desert Angels have invested in over 100 companies and Calimmune is the largest investment ever made by the group.**

Calimmune Inc., a gene-therapy drug startup company co-founded by a University of Arizona alumnus, will be acquired by Australian-based biotech drug giant CSL Ltd. for $91 million.

The deal, which will make Calimmune part of Pennsylvania-based CSL Behring, also includes up to $325 million in potential performance based milestone payments over eight or more years after the transaction’s close, expected within the next two weeks.

Calimmune, co-founded by UA biology grad and entrepreneur Louis Breton in 2006, is developing stem-cell gene therapy to strengthen patients’ own immune systems.

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NuvOx Pharma to be Honored with 2017 AZBio Fast Lane Award

by Curtis Gunn on August 28th, 2017 at 7:43pm

The Arizona Bioindustry Association will honor NuvOx Pharma with an AZBio Fast Lane Award at the 2017 AZBio Awards.

Arizona life science and business leaders as well as guests from across the country will be on hand to applaud the NuvOx Pharma team for their progress in developing new therapies for patients.

NuvOx Pharma is a biotechnology company based in Tucson, Arizona that is developing an innovative nanotechnology for oxygen delivery to treat life-threatening diseases where hypoxia plays a role. The company is ready to start a Phase II clinical trial in brain cancer, is in a Phase Ib/II clinical trial in stroke, is Phase Ib ready in sickle cell crisis, and has animal studies in heart attack, hemorrhagic shock, and traumatic brain injury.

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Commerce Bank is on rebound after millions in investments by locals

by Curtis Gunn on August 13th, 2017 at 3:02pm

Tucson’s only locally owned bank has nursed itself back to financial health with the help of local residents who invested millions of dollars to shore up the bank’s balance sheet.

Commerce Bank of Arizona, which weathered huge losses on small-business loans following the Great Recession, announced recently that state and federal regulators had lifted a 2013 consent order requiring the bank to significantly raise its capital reserves.

After raising $3.5 million in new capital in 2015, Commerce’s parent, CBOA Financial Inc., raised about $10 million in capital earlier this year, boosting the bank’s capital-reserve ratios beyond the requirements in the consent order by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions.

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Stimwave’s MRI-safe, injectable neurostimulator gets FDA nod

by Curtis Gunn on August 9th, 2017 at 12:05am

Stimwave scored FDA clearance for its tiny, MRI-safe neurostimulation device for the treatment of chronic peripheral nerve pain. Now, patients implanted with the device may undergo full-body MRI scans without needing to remove the implant.

The StimQ Peripheral Nerve Stimulator system is placed through a needle and is designed to stimulate any peripheral nerve below the head and outside the spinal cord.

The wireless device is designed to treat chronic pain, including shoulder pain, mid- and lower back pain and neuropathy in the upper and lower extremities. It delivers small electrical pulses through a set of electrodes to the targeted nerve. It is powered by a small external unit.

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