AxelaRx Biosciences Inc. (“AxelaRx”), a leading specialist accelerating the development of novel drugs and diagnostics and Avelas Biosciences Inc. (“Avelas”), an innovator and pioneer in the field of fluorescent diagnostic imaging, have agreed to enter a strategic partnership to develop novel imaging agents that visualize nerves intraoperatively. Under the terms of the agreement, Avelas will grant AxelaRx an option to license proprietary nerve imaging agents, AVB-N-311 and AVB-N-312, and the two companies will collaborate on the development of the products.

AVB-N-311 and AVB-N-312 are proprietary fluorescent nerve imaging agents that have been discovered and developed by Avelas. Avelas has established proof-of-concept in the preclinical setting that these candidates may be used to visualize nerves during a surgical procedure.

Unwanted nerve damage is a serious complication that may occur during a variety of surgical procedures. Nerve damage is associated with significant morbidity, including pain, numbness, and loss of function. Examples include facial palsy resulting from nerve damage caused during head and neck surgery or erectile dysfunction resulting from nerve damage caused during prostate surgery. Intraoperative fluorescent visualization of nerves is a significant unmet medical need for surgeons and novel approaches, such as AVB-N-311 and AVB-N-312, have the potential to greatly improve surgical outcomes for patients.

Ari Aminetzah, CEO of AxelaRx, emphasizes, “This collaboration encompasses the vital combination of novel technology and world-renowned expertise in the Life Sciences market that is key in accelerating a product to the market. We are confident that the nerve imaging agents will have a profound impact on patients’ medical care and are proud to partner with the highly accomplished Avelas team to make this happen.”

“Avelas is thrilled to partner with the excellent and ambitious team at AxelaRx on the development of AVB-N-311 and AVB-N-312,” adds Jay Lichter, Chairman, President and CEO of Avelas. “This collaboration allows Avelas to focus its attention on AVB-620, our Phase III program for visualizing breast cancer margins, while also putting our trust in a respected and capable team to aggressively pursue the advancement of this promising nerve technology for another highly unmet surgical need.”

About AxelaRx Biosciences Inc. – AxelaRx operates an accelerator program that focuses on advancing innovative technologies and intellectual property from discovery through clinical trials all the way to commercialization. For more information about AxelaRx send an email to info@axelarx.com or visit www.axelarx.com.

About Avelas Biosciences Inc. – Avelas Biosciences is a San Diego-based biotechnology company focused on developing AVB-620, a novel drug-device combination product for use during cancer surgery. AVB-620 improves surgery by detecting cancer in real-time and has the potential to become part of standard-of-care treatment for a variety of cancer surgeries. Avelas completed a Phase II/III clinical study of AVB-620 in the first half of 2020 and the company looks forward to announcing topline data from this pivotal trial in the coming months. For more information about Avelas send an email to info@avelas.com or visit www.avelasbio.com.