CHANDLER, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Arizona Bioindustry Association (AZBio) today announced that Leslie Boyer, M.D., founding director of the VIPER (Venom Immunochemistry, Pharmacology and Emergency Response) Institute at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, has been named the 2013 Arizona Bioscience Researcher of the Year in recognition of her work as the Principal Investigator for the multicenter scorpion antivenom clinical studies program conducted throughout Arizona. Dr. Boyer will be honored in Phoenix at the 2013 AZBio Awards on October 10, 2013.
The Arizona Bioscience Researcher of the Year Award honors the life science researcher in Arizona who has made the most significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge and the understanding of biological processes, as measured by publications and/or professional acknowledgement of their work in either an academic or commercial setting.
In 2013, Dr. Leslie Boyer was named one of 30 heroes of rare diseases by the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Orphan Products Development. Her work includes a clinical studies program conducted throughout Arizona with protocols for placebo-controlled, double-blind trials, open-label studies, historical control studies, and the statewide STING project. She has coordinated phase 2 and phase 3 multicenter clinical trials of pit viper antivenom, developed the Antivenom Index, and participated in the establishment of the Pan-American Lymphotoxinology Taskforce.
Boyer, who is a member of the UA’s BIO5 Institute, has focused her scientific career on venomous bites and stings, which are often unrecognized public health issues. She began by developing public education programs that offer poison and toxin emergency treatment advice. In 2004 and 2005, with an FDA Orphan Product grant, she led a team that conducted clinical studies leading to the marketing approval of the first scorpion antivenom – representing one of more than 40 products developed through orphan grant-sponsored research.
The May-June edition of International Educator features an article on how Dr. Boyer and a team of the US and Mexican academics collaborate and overcome challenges. Such collaboration between the VIPER Institute and UNAM (Universidad National Autonoma de México) has led to the approval of a drug against scorpion stings, called Anascorp®.
“There are many benefits to living in Arizona’s desert environment, but we also share our home with native creatures whose sting or bite can range from painful to even life threatening,” shared AZBio president and CEO Joan Koerber-Walker. “Thanks to the work of Dr. Boyer and her team of life science innovators, when the viper strikes or the scorpion stings, our healthcare community and caregivers around the world have a solution.”
The 8th Annual AZBio Awards will be held Thursday, October 10, 2013 at the Phoenix Convention Center. In addition to the Gala Awards Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., the VWR Company Showcase and Student Discovery Showcase sponsored by NAU will highlight the work of Arizona’s current and future life science leaders from 10 a.m.–11:30 a.m. and again from 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. so that attendees can see the work being done across the industry and interact with the leaders and future leaders who are driving bioindustry innovation.
In addition honoring Dr. Boyer, the AZBio Awards will celebrate the achievements of:
- 2013 AZBio Pioneer Award for Lifetime Achievement - Thomas M. Grogan, M.D., Founder of Ventana and SVP Medical Affairs at Ventana Medical Systems, Inc., a member of the Roche Group
- 2013 Michael A. Cusanovich Arizona Bioscience Educator of the Year – Amanda Grimes Mesa Biotechnology Academy, Mesa Public Schools
- 2013 Jon W. McGarity Arizona Bioscience Leader of the Year – Linda Hunt, Dignity Health, Arizona Market
- 2013 AZBio Public Service Award – Mayor John Lewis, Town of Gilbert, Arizona
- 2013 Arizona Bioscience Company of the Year – W.L. Gore & Associates
- 2013 AZBio Fast Lane Awards – Iron Horse Dx, Nasseo, Inc., and Yulex Corporation.
About the Arizona Bioindustry Association (AZBio) – www.azbio.org
As Arizona’s statewide industry Association, AZBio is committed to working with our members across Arizona to support our industry as together we move forward faster. AZBio provides access to the key resources, connections and information in our biosciences community. This provides the foundation to be able to Connect, Collaborate, Innovate and Succeed; thus supporting the growth of a thriving economic environment for Arizona’s Bioscience Industry today and in the future.
AZBio is the State Affiliate of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) located in Washington, D.C. and also collaborates on national issues with AdvaMed, PhRMA and other national and international organizations to move the Arizona Bioscience Industry forward faster.