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AstraZeneca veteran Deborah Hartman joins Avaxia

Will lead the development of AVX-470 in ulcerative colitis

AstraZeneca veteran Deborah Hartman joins AvaxiaFormer AstraZeneca (AZ) vice president Dr Deborah Hartman has joined Avaxia Biologics as VP research, replacing Dan Tracey who retires.

Dr Hartman spent nearly 15 years at AZ, serving in several executive positions, including VP lead generation enabling capabilities & sciences, VP respiratory and inflammation research UK and, most recently, VP project leadership, innovative medicines for infectious diseases.

Prior to her time at AZ, she spent seven years at Roche, holding positions that included project leader and principal scientist in nervous system diseases.

In her new role at US-based biotech Avaxia, Dr Hartman will lead research efforts as the company prepares to take lead product AVX-470 to phase II trials in patients with active ulcerative colitis.

It is the first drug to be developed using the company's technology platform, which aims to produce antibody drugs that are resistant to digestion and, therefore, can be taken orally.

“Because these drugs are only minimally absorbed into the bloodstream, this approach also has tremendous potential to reduce side effects in patients as compared to drugs that travel throughout the body,” said Dr Hartman.

Avaxia's CEO Dr Barbara Fox commented on Dr Hartman's additional duties: “Debbie will expand our pipeline of gut-targeted oral antibody therapeutics through internal efforts and external collaborations.”

27th March 2013

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