On August 10, 2012, FDA approved Intelliject’s new drug application for Auvi-Q™ (epinephrine) Auto-injector, a device used for the emergency treatment of life-threatening allergic reactions, or anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a severe whole-body reaction to an allergen, characterized by difficulty breathing/wheezing, reductions in blood pressure and pulse, hives/itchiness, swelling of the face, among other symptoms. Anaphylaxis occurs very rapidly, often within seconds or minutes of exposure, and can result in death without prompt medical attention. Epinephrine is the only first-line treatment for anaphylaxis, based on its ability to regulate heart rate, blood vessel and airway passage diameters, and metabolic shifts.
Currently, the EpiPen® Auto-injector is the most prescribed treatment for severe allergic reactions and anaphylaxis, with a market share of more than 95%. However, close to two thirds of patients and caregivers do not carry EpiPens® at all times as directed. Further, many patients have concerns that others will not know how to use EpiPens® in an emergency situation. Other epinephrine auto-injectors, similar in shape to EpiPen®, include Twinject®, Adrenaclick®, and Anapen®.
Unlike the currently-available auto-injectors, Auvi-Q™ is the size and shape of a credit card, and it is as thick as a smartphone, making it small enough to fit in a pocket or a small purse. In addition, Auvi-Q™ is the first epinephrine auto-injector to provide both audio and visual instructions to direct a user how to properly use the device. Intelliject’s goal for AuviQ™ was to make it easy to carry and easy to use.