451290 Recombinant Snake Antivenom Peptide

Thursday, November 17, 2016: 5:21 PM
Continental 5 (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Claire F. Komives, Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA, Michael Balderrama, John Li, Chemical Engineering and Elda E. Sanchez, National Natural Toxins Research Center

Tens of thousands of people die by snakebite every year, primarily in developing countries.  Many more survivors continue to suffer permanent physical and mental disabilities from a bite. Cytotoxic snake venoms are present in many countries including from American rattlesnakes. Current Fab-based treatment for US snakes costs over $1K per vial but is covered by some insurance policies for humans but not normally for animals. A small ribosomal peptide was reported to neutralize snake venom that was identified as the N-terminus of a serum protein in the North American Opossum (Didelphis virginiana). We have found that the chemically synthesized peptide is able to neutralize the hemorrhagic toxins in different species of snake venoms when tested in mice.  In addition to activity studies, we have explored the possibility of making the peptide recombinantly by a process that would be amenable to a large scale production.  The goal of our work is to propose a large scale, low cost process for the peptide that can be implemented in developing countries where snakes are prevalent and the population cannot afford expensive horse serum-based antivenom treatments.  Our process obviates the use of snake venoms that are currently required to inject horses for the production of antibodies.  We have successfully produced the peptide in E. coli and purified sufficient quantity to demonstrate activity in mice.  Process optimization is currently underway, in addition to expanded activity studies.  The presentation will cover details of our process studies and the activity of the E. coli-produced peptide.

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