Death by snake venom in India, Africa, and South America are substantial. Traditional antidotes are prohibitively expensive ($100/dose) and have side effects.
A new peptide-based antidote shows promise in treating certain snake venoms with no side effects. However, this needs further testing in Indian snakes, and needs to be cheaper.
With success of this campaign, researchers can test this antidote in four prevalent Indian snakes, and begin designing a low-cost bio-process – targeting a $1/dose treatment.
The current commercial anti-venoms are made from horse serum. Horses are injected with snake venom, the blood is collected afterwards, and the serum is purified for use in humans. This process results in anti-venoms that can have adverse side effects on patients.
The current anti-venoms are also too expensive for the population in rural areas in developing countries where the snakes are prevalent. Death by snakebite affects mainly the healthy, working population and children. It is a significant economic burden for developing countries.
WHO estimates as many as 1.8 million envenomations each year around the world. This is a truly significant problem in the Third World.
This project is so exciting because it can save lives, and help people who depend on their manual work for survival and for the survival and happiness of their families.
It is devastating to me to think of a farmworker losing his life to a snake bite and his family then has no financial means, or if they take him to the clinic to get a snake antivenom and then need to mortgage their house or become indentured in order to pay the medical bill. ~ Lead Researcher Dr. Claire Komives
The campaign’s goal is $14,000 and ends in 10 days.