IIT Delhi students develop cheaper and effective drug for curing snake bites

Published on: Sep 11, 2018 16:57 IST
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IIT is often considered as the hub of multitalented students. The students from different IIT have always come up with innovative ideas to help the society. This time, some IITians have discovered what could be a cheaper and more effective solution for neutralizing the toxic effect of snake venom. This innovative research has been done in collaboration with San Jose University, US. “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, who is one of the researchers.

It has been observed that Snakebite has been considered as a neglected disease for decades until the World Health Organization (WHO) included it in the list of tropical neglected diseases in 2009. The research team at IIT Delhi has invented a process to manufacture LTNF using recombinant DNA technology and has filed for a patent for the same. Their product has shown efficacy against rattlesnake and viper venoms and it is under observation by the researchers. It has been claimed that if this experiment becomes successful, then LTNF based therapy will offer a more cost-effective as well as stable substitute for currently available anti-venoms against snakebite.

“Snakebite can cause tissue necrosis, severe hemorrhaging, 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 the death of more than 1 million people every year. More than a lakh die every year in India,” he added.

The researcher also stated “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.”

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