Press Conference on First FDA-Approved Scorpion Antivenom

Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - 3:00pm
SPEAKERS:              Leslie Boyer, MD, founding director, UA VIPER Institute and lead researcher on clinical trials; Joanne Mallie, RN, assistant director of research, UA VIPER Institute and coordinator, network of study sites.
 
Bark scorpions will be available for viewing and photographs.
 
This event will be televised at: http://streaming.biocom.arizona.edu/home/
 
MEDIA CONTACT: Janet Stark, 520-626-7551, janets@email.arizona.edu
 
This event will be simulcast to the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix. For more information, contact Al Bravo, 602-827-2022, bravoal@email.arizona.edu      
 
Please note: Spanish-language media are asked to contact Rebecca Ruiz-McGill to arrange for interviews, 520-621-1878, rrmcgill@u.arizona.edu
 
The FDA today approved Anascorp®, a scorpion antivenom produced in Mexico and tested in clinical trials conducted through the University of Arizona, for the treatment of patients suffering the effects of scorpion sting. Members of the media are invited to learn more at a press conference this afternoon.
 
“This is an historic event,” says Leslie Boyer, MD, director of the UA’s VIPER (Venom Immunochemistry, Pharmacology and Emergency Response) Institute at the College of Medicine and lead investigator on the clinical trials. “This is the first-ever drug approved for this use by the FDA; the first-ever drug that we are aware of being developed fully in Latin America and subsequently approved by the FDA; the first-ever scorpion antivenom proved effective under controlled clinical trials; and the first-ever antivenom with so few allergic reactions.”
 
Arizona has the highest concentration of dangerous bark scorpions in the United States. About 8,000 scorpion stings occur in the state each year, and several hundred of those require medical treatment, especially among young children.