Tucson’s Desert Angels have been ranked among the top 10 “angel” investor groups nationwide for 2013. The Halo Report, a yearly update of early-stage investment activity of private-equity angel groups around the country, ranked the Desert Angels the eighth most active angel group in the nation based on the total number of deals last year.
The Desert Angels, which has more than 95 members, invested more than $5.5 million into 23 different companies in 2013, their largest investment year to date since the group’s inception in 2000, the group said in a news release.
Read more: Tucson’s Desert Angels in top 10 for investments
Desert Angels (DA) announced their final investment numbers for 2013 equaling over $5.5 million placed into 23 different companies-the majority of them in Arizona.
Chairman of Desert Angels and board member on the Angel Capital Association Curtis Gunn said this milestone “…is a record for us, both record of number of companies and dollars invested.” In the 2013 Q2 HALO report, a national survey of angel group investment activity, Desert Angels was ranked in the top five for most active angel groups in the United States. DA is looking to stay at the top of the list for the year-end report.
Read more: Desert Angels invested over $5.5M and majority in AZ cos.
The Freedom® portable driver that powers the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart, the world’s first and only FDA, Health Canada and CE (Europe) approved Total Artificial Heart, has been named one of four finalists for the 2014 Edison Awards’ devices section in the science/medical category.
For more: Edison Awards Selects SynCardia’s Freedom Portable Driver As a 2014 Innovation Finalist
Desert Angels portfolio company Calimmune is mentioned is highlighted in a PBS NewsHour Health broadcast as a company at the forefront of gene therapy treatment for HIV patients.
For video and more: In search of a cure, scientists look for where HIV hides
NuvOx Pharma, a Tucson-based biotech startup, founded in 2008 is metamorphosing from an R&D startup to one that is testing the Company’s nanotechnology therapeutic platform in the clinic.
According to Chief Business Officer, David Wilson, this transition ratchets up the expenses, but clinical trials are the only way to determine the therapeutic potential of the NuvOx platform and to garner the interest of potential collaborators and investors. “With demonstrated proof-of-concept in humans, we are now ready to start discussions with potential corporate partners and institutional investors”, according to Dr. Wilson.
Read more: NuvOx Makes the Transition from the Laboratory to the Clinic and is Pounding the Pavement to Raise $15MM
Sialix, Inc., a biotechnology company developing products for the treatment and prevention of cancer, today announced the closing of an oversubscribed $1.2 million tranche of an angel-led financing. Among the investors were several angel investment groups including the Desert Angels.
“Building a biotech company today is challenging, and at this stage we have chosen to maintain a lean structure that can be supported with angel funding. It is terrific and validating to get such strong support from a wide variety of angel groups,” said Jeff Behrens, Sialix’s CEO.
Read more: Sialix Closes Oversubscribed Second Tranche of Series B Financing
With 161 SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heartsimplanted in 2013, nearly double the 81 implants performed in 2011, SynCardia Systems, Inc. is on track to exceed 200 implants of the Total Artificial Heart in 2014, the company announced today. “We expect demand to continue to accelerate this year,” says Michael P. Garippa, SynCardia CEO and President.
“The SynCardia Heart saves patients dying of heart failure and the Freedom® portable driver provides patients without hu man hearts a life worth living outside the hospital.” The driver significantly improves the patient’s quality of life and eliminates most in-hospital cost for this portion of the patient’s care, Garippa added.
For more: New Record of 161 SynCardia Total Artificial Heart Implants Set in 2013
Despite a significant move to online ads, printed weekly grocery circulars have remained a mainstay of supermarkets, which spent more than $11 billion on newspaper circulars alone last year. A Tucson-based tech startup wants to replace those weekly ads with personalized, digital grocery circulars shoppers can use to get deals on what they buy most via the Web.
Desert Angels portfolio company Recoleta Digital Media got a key boost recently when it was awarded a $250,000 grant as a winner of the Arizona Commerce Authority’s annual Innovation Challenge.
For more: Tech startup looks to create custom weekly grocery ads
Tucson-based Cancer Prevention Pharmaceuticals Inc. has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with a Swiss drug company for European and Japanese rights to develop and commercialize a gastrointestinal-cancer-prevention drug.
The local Desert Angels portfolio company could get payments of more than $100 million over time for hitting drug development and sales milestones, as part of its agreement with Tillotts Pharma AG, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tokyo-based Zeria Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., Cancer Prevention Pharmaceuticals said.
For more: Tucson cancer-drug firm inks key licensing deal
Tucson-based SynCardia Systems Inc. has raised another $14 million to bankroll development of its artificial heart and related products. The new financing will help spur development of a new, smaller 50cc version of the approved 70cc SynCardia Total Artificial Heart, the availability of the Freedom portable driver and the use of SynCardia technology as a “destination therapy” for patients who are not transplant candidates, said Michael Garippa, president and CEO of SynCardia.
SynCardia’s Total Artificial Heart is the first and only device approved as a bridge to transplant in the U.S., Europe and Canada.
For more: SynCardia raises $14M to develop heart