Snake bite treatment: IIT students develop cheaper drug for curing viper venoms

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Representational Image
Representational Image

New Delhi : Indeed a biggest contribution in the medicine industry! Students of the reputed Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) of Delhi have developed a cheaper and effective medicine for neutralizing the toxic effect of a snake poison.

IIT scholars have done the research in collaboration with San Jose University, US and came up with outstanding findings.

“Purification of peptides offers unique challenges with respect to obtaining the desired process yield and selectivity. Lethal Toxin-Neutralizing Factor (LTNF) is a peptide that is known to neutralize snake venom. A process for producing highly purified recombinant LTNF has been developed,” said Anurag Rathore, one of the researchers.

For decades, snake bite has been ignored by common people until the World Health Organization (WHO) included it in the list of tropical neglected diseases in 2009.  Researchers at IIT Delhi have developed a process to manufacture LTNF using recombinant DNA technology and have filed for a patent for the same.

The solution has shown effective impact against rattlesnake and viper venoms and is undergoing further testing. In case, the drug succeeds in all the test, then LTNF based therapy will be considered as most cost-effective and stable substitute for currently available anti-venoms against snakebite.

“Snakebite can cause tissue necrosis, severe haemorrhaging, paralysis, heart failure, and other significant effects depending on the type of snake and severity of the bite. The estimated number of snake bites around the world is as high as 1.84 resulting in death of more than 1 million people every year. More than a lakh die every year in India,” he said.

“There was a dire need for designing a process for manufacturing anti-venom that is cheaper and more effective. Current anti-venoms are produced in livestock, and the resulting anti-venom products can cause allergenic reactions in patients,” he added.