Prescott, AZ. – (April 13th, 2011): Arizona is now home to a new bioscience company developing antivenoms against Arizona’s common venomous animals, being rattlesnakes, scorpions and spiders. The new company, BioVeteria Life Sciences, LLC (BioVeteria), has decided to locate their veterinary operations in Prescott, AZ and has active rattlesnake antivenom and scorpion antivenom programs underway. BioVeteria’s presence further strengthens Arizona’s growing bioscience and comparative research programs. BioVeteria Animal Health, LLC has started funding research programs in Arizona, and has a variety of contract personnel on staff.
Dr. Craig Woods, a research veterinarian and BioVeteria’s General Manager, stated “BioVeteria chose to establish their headquarters in Arizona for several reasons, including Arizona’s strong comparative antivenom research programs such as University of Arizona’s Viper Institute. In addition, Arizona represents the epicenter for venomous snakebites in pets, therefore giving our team the ability to directly assist in treating dogs.”
BioVeteria Life Sciences, LLC conducts a significant portion of their R&D in Arizona at various labs and veterinary specialty hospitals. Dr. Woods stated, “Veterinarians treat about 25 times more venomous snakebites compared to physicians, so the veterinary market need for antivenom is substantial. I have seen first hand the significant benefit of this new antivenom for dogs, and am excited to be part of such a needed program from veterinary medicine.” It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of dogs are bitten by rattlesnakes, cottonmouths, and other pit vipers in the United States each year. Many of these dogs require antivenom to avoid severe complications or death. Currently, there is only one approved antivenom for veterinary medicine so the market opportunity for additional antivenoms is substantial.
Dr. Woods has been involved in a number of comparative research studies advancing human and veterinary drugs, devices, and diagnostics. “Veterinarians often pioneer the development of medical products well before their availability on the human side.” Woods stated, “I am fortunate to see first-hand how our antivenom efforts are benefiting animals and could eventually help human medicine.”
About Snake Venom and Antivenom: Pit vipers, such as rattlesnakes and cottonmouths, have very complex venoms. The venom’s components can have a variety of effects including tissue destruction and affecting blood clotting. Certain species, such as the Mojave rattlesnake, can also produce neurotoxins that can disrupt neuromuscular function. Antivenoms are substances that are normally derived from the blood of animals which have been hyper-immunized against a venom. The hyper-immunization causes an increase in neutralizing antibodies which can be acquired and purified to make antivenom (antivenin, antivenene). Antivenom administration helps neutralize the venom’s effects.
About BioVeteria Life Sciences, LLC: BioVeteria is a biopharmaceutical company located in Prescott, AZ and is developing F(ab’)2 antivenoms for pit viper, coral snake, scorpion and spider envenomation for veterinary medicine. BioVeteria is also advancing veterinary diagnostics and additional therapeutic products for high demand indications including veterinary orthopedics, critical care, and ophthalmology. For more information: www.BioVeteria.com.