Ottawa-based bioscience firm Avivagen lists shares on U.S. venture exchange


An Ottawa-based firm that has landed millions of dollars in funding to develop an alternative to antibiotic-based livestock feed has begun trading on a U.S. stock exchange.

Avivagen made its debut Wednesday on the OTCQB Venture Market under the symbol VIVXF. The company ​– which was founded in 2005 and has racked up more than $27 million in losses while it waits for its products to gain regulatory approval around the world ​– is already listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol VIV.

In a statement, Avivagen CEO Kym Anthony said trading on the U.S. exchange “will provide additional liquidity and help us expand Avivagen’s investor presence in the United States.”

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The move comes as Avivagen continues to seek new sources of financing for its natural health products aimed at replacing the use of antibiotics in livestock feed.

Last week, Avivagen said it raised $1.25 million in a private placement of shares and related warrants. The latest funding tops up a larger $5.26-million financing round that closed last March.

The firm’s flagship product, OxC-beta, was approved for sale in the United States in early 2019 and is also sold in the Philippines, Taiwan, New Zealand, Thailand, Australia, Mexico and Malaysia. 

Avivagen’s solution is a compound derived from carotenoids, organic pigments produced by plants and algae that give fruits and vegetables such as bananas, carrots and tomatoes their bright colours. 

Various studies have suggested carotenoids can help reduce the risk of various types of cancers as well as conditions such as Parkinson’s disease in human beings, and Avivagen officials say they’ve conducted dozens of tests that prove the natural antioxidants boost the immune systems of livestock, warding off disease without needing to resort to antibiotics.

In its latest fiscal year ended Oct. 31, 2019, Avivagen reported a loss of more than $4.8 million on revenues of about $977,000.

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