Burbank biotech company Medolife Rx Inc. this week announced it has broken ground on its lab facility in the Dominican Republic to raise scorpions.


Medolife Rx is a majority-owned subsidiary of Quanta Inc., also in Burbank. Medolife uses peptides found in scorpions to produce anti-viral and immune-boosting therapeutics; its increased quantity of the chemicals from the Dominican Republic facility will translate into mass production of its pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products, the company said.


Currently under construction, the 2,690-square-foot facility will serve as a research lab for its leading pipeline product Escozine, a drug to treat cancer and COVID-19. 


“There has been significant ongoing research into the potential therapeutic benefits of scorpion venom for years and this facility will position us as essentially the world’s largest cultivator and researcher of these highly specific peptides,” Dr. Arthur Mikaelian, chief executive of Medolife, said in a statement. “With the additional scorpions as well as the integrated lab facility, we will be able to meet the demand for our products while controlling costs and furthering our research and development efforts on the scorpion peptides. We also have the opportunity to monetize any additional serum we extract, creating a whole new revenue opportunity for the company.”