Humans have been making anti-venom for a couple of centuries, and the process has changed significantly since the early days. Instead of the complicated process, scientists have found a way to safely create anti-venom in the lab instead of needing to milk venom from snakes. Netherland researchers used glands from nine venomous snakes and stem cells to create 3D snake glands that produce similar toxins.
Indian researchers have sequenced cobra DNA, a snake that kills about 50,000 people a year. One of the most well-respected cancer researchers, Hans Clevers, has become involved in researching snake venom as well. His work has been in creating organoids, smaller organs made from stem cells. This has made it safe to test drugs on human organs without harming humans during the initial trials. He and his research teams began to look into ways to use snake stem cells to create similar organoids of venom glands. These glands made toxins that were nearly identical to snake venom.
Antivenoms made in the traditional methods have also resulted in some very negative reactions at different levels of severity. It is also incredibly expensive because of the complicated process used to make it, making it difficult for people in regions likely to need the antivenom to be able to afford it. The new process may allow for much more affordable venom in the future.
It may also be used to remove the adverse side effects. The genome research conducted in India is being used to try to determine the effects of the different venom components to remove those components that are more likely to cause problems. Snake venom has also been used to help treat other conditions, such as drugs for hypertension and angina.
For more details on how anti-venom can be made, read the full article at Snake Venom Can Now Be Made in a Lab and That Could Save Many Lives.