Canine Cancer Lab TVAX Gets $2 Million

TVAX Animal Health has a large bankroll to draw from for its research into cancer immunotherapy.

Cancer is the top killer of dogs over age 2, according to Morris Animal Foundation.

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Investors have put a lot of faith and money in TVAX Animal Health, a year-old company that is working on a T-cell-based cancer treatment for dogs.

The Lenexa, Kan., subsidiary of TVAX Biomedical Inc. announced today that it closed on an additional $2 million in funding, adding to a stockpile that last summer totaled $12 million.

“There are more than 3 million dogs treated for cancer each year, yet the available treatment options are limited,” CEO Tammie Wahaus said. “TVAX Animal Health strives to bring effective cancer treatment options to the U.S. veterinary market, and this round of financing will help us achieve this.”

The cash infusion will fund a clinical trial of TVAX’s proprietary immunotherapy, which is designed to use a patient’s immune system to generate cancer-killing T-cells.

The developer is focused on canine cancer but sees a potential market for the technology with cats and horses. The immunotherapy has the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s authorization.

Among TVAX’s early investors were the Mid-America Angels network and the Kansas Biosciences Authority, both of which contributed to the new round of funding along with other parties.

“We look forward to working with the TVAX management team to assist in the growth of this promising venture,” said George Hansen, executive director of Mid-America Angels.

TVAX opened the latest funding request at $700,000 but raised it to $2 million because of the response.

The immunotherapy under development could be performed at specialty hospitals and “private veterinarians with the capability to surgically remove the cancerous tissue,” according to the company.

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