Global academic-industry collaboration developing anti-venom antibodies

The development of snakebite antivenoms has remained largely unchanged for over a century. The tried & tested technique involved inoculating horses with snake venoms: the horse immune response generates antibodies that can neutralize the snake venom. However, these equine derived anti-venoms are time-consuming to make, can have limited efficacy & can cause immune responses in human snakebite patients.

Snakebites cause the most injuries & fatalities in developing countries, affecting some of the poorest regions in the world. A lack of research & therapeutic development led the World Health Organization to designate snakebite as a Neglected Tropical Disease in 2017.

Using the latest antibody engineering techniques & technologies Andreas Laustsen’s Tropical Pharmacology Lab, DTU, Copenhagen has approached this problem with innovative science & solutions in this much needed, but neglected, area of medicine. In a global collaboration across academia & industry with Sophion Biosciences (Denmark), IONTAS (UK) & the Instituto Clodomiro Picado (Costa Rica), they have bio-engineered antibodies to neutralise snake #venom toxins.

Line Ledsgaard, a PhD student in the Laustsen lab, DTU, gave a talk on this groundbreaking work. You can see a video of Line’s talk here:

You can see more talks on the Tropical Pharmacology Lab’s critical anti-venom work here.