09 August 2022 | News
For driving the antivenom development that will deliver efficient snakebite therapy to save lives
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Bharat Serums and Vaccines (BSV) has collaborated with ‘Evolutionary Venomics Lab’, at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore to develop region-specific antivenoms, thereby, pioneering next-generation snakebite therapy in India.
Snakebite remains a serious public health challenge. Currently, treatments are based on a single polyvalent antivenom designed for snakebites from the ‘big four’ snakes in the country. Recent research at the Evolutionary Venomics Lab has highlighted the alarming consequence of the inter and intra-species variation in venoms on the effectiveness of antivenom. The polyvalent antivenom inefficaciously neutralizes the venom from distinct populations of the ‘big four’ snakes, as well many other local clinically important snake species. Thus, there is an urgent need for the development of region-specific antivenom in the country.
The partnership aims at driving the antivenom development that will deliver efficient snakebite therapy to save lives, limbs, and livelihoods of those in need of the treatment.
Sanjiv Navangul, MD and CEO, BSV said, “We aim to partner with leading research institutes such as IISc to promote research in the neglected area of biodiscovery aspects of venom in India. Effective interventions involving education and antivenom provision would reduce snakebite deaths not only in India but also neighbouring countries in South Asia and Afghanistan.”