FDA Approves Scorpion Anti-venin Drug

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PHOENIX, Aug. 4 (UPI) — A Mexican-made anti-venin that helps children recover from life-threatening reactions to scorpion stings has received U.S. approval, officials said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the antidote Anascorp to treat serious reaction to the stings of bark scorpions, common throughout Arizona and considered a major threat to young children, the Arizona Republic reported Thursday.

The scorpions’ painful stings can cause children to lose muscle control and can lead to breathing difficulties.

About 8,000 scorpion stings are reported in Arizona each year, with several hundred serious enough to require medical attention.

“This is a great triumph,” said Dr. Leslie Boyer, a University of Arizona pediatrician who spearheaded clinical trials of the anti-venin.

Mexican company Instituto Bioclon produces Anascorp from the plasma of horses immunized with scorpion venom.

The company agreed to open its operations to the FDA’s rigorous inspection process to ensure its manufacturing practices meets the agency’s standards, Boyer said.

The approval of Anascorp is the first time the FDA has approved a drug developed and made in Latin America, she said.

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