iBET participates in ADDovenom – Novel Snakebite Therapy Platform of Unparalleled Efficacy, Safety and Affordability, an EU-funded project aiming to create a unique type of snakebite antivenom treatment to neutralize and eliminate venom toxins with enhanced efficacy, safety and affordability when compared to treatments currently available.
Snakebites are responsible for approximately 100 000 deaths globally every year and are considered by World Health Organization one of the most neglected tropical diseases. Surviving snakebite victims often suffer from scars and are ostracized and discriminated due to engrained cultural prejudice, adding to human and emotional burden.
Standard treatments, based on antibodies collected from horses and sheep that have become immune to the toxins in the venom, have low efficacy as snake toxins are highly diverse even within (sub)species. In addition, only 10% to 15% of total antibodies in administered sera bind to the venom therefore, to effect cure, multiple doses of antivenom sera are needed, increasing treatment costs and the risk for adverse side effects.
ADDovenom project will use the innovative ADDomer© platform to design an antivenom virus-like particle (VLP) therapy of unparalleled clinical effectiveness. Importantly, this new therapy is being developed so it can be stored at room temperature, allowing medication to be transported and distributed to local sites across the remote farming communities of sub-Saharan Africa, where the disease is most prevalent.
iBET role in the project is to establish a GMP-compliant platform for production of customized ADDomers aiming to establish pharma-level, low-cost manufacturing platforms, essential to develop further this new therapeutic concept.
“ADDomers have the power to enable the development of unique snakebite treatments. The cost-effectiveness of this technology can contribute to lower manufacturing costs and logistics widening its availability to countries where the number of deaths caused by snake and viper bites is very significant”, comments Paula Alves, CEO of iBET.
The 4-year, € 3.6 million, European Union Future and Emerging Technologies (EU-FET) project started on October 1, 2020. It is coordinated by University of Bristol, and include as partner institutions, the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), Universities of Liège, d’Aix Marseille and iBET.