Snakes aren’t usually considered a national asset, especially those dangerous enough to kill. But that could change if the push to utilise snake venom for a range of medical purposes proves as effective as experts predict.
The process recently took an important step forward with an Australian company called Venomics on-licensing the rights to commercialise two product candidates, textilinin and HaempatchTM, both derived from Australian snake venom. Venomics is a spin-off from QRxPharma, established in 2002 to commercialise therapeutics research from the University of Queensland.
The products were developed by UQ researchers John de Jersey and Martin Lavin, along with Paul Masci who’s studied Australian snake venoms for more than 20 years in search of drug candidates.
Textilinin has the potential to reduce blood loss in surgery by helping to maintain blood clots in place once they’ve formed. So far, it compares favourably with other so-called antifibrinolytic drugs, showing reduced blood loss and less potential for side effects.
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