The CSIRO has teamed up with Padula Serums to develop effective and low cost antivenom to treat dogs for snake bites.
Australia is home to some of the most venomous snakes in the world and the new antivenom – which will treat Eastern Brown and Tiger snake bites – is expected to save thousands of dogs each year.
Dr Andrew Padula of Padula Serums – a small biotech company in regional Victoria – said that working with CSIRO helped turn his idea into a reality.
“I’ve been working on antivenom serums for dogs and cats for a while now but I really needed the expert equipment and skills of the CSIRO scientists to make the best product possible,” he said.
Professor George Lovrecz from CSIRO’s manufacturing team said the new process was much more effective than those available on the market as it is distilled and concentrated to create a pure, fully-tested antivenom which is ready to be injected into snake-bitten dogs.
“We used the latest technologies to make sure that the anti-venom is not only safe and effective but it’s also a lot cheaper to produce compared to existing products,” he said.
CSIRO said the new treatment could also be used for treating humans for snake bites or against toxins and ticks, adding that its scientists are also researching the possibility of using a similar approach to treat viruses like Ebola.
The antivenom will be available on the market and stocked by vets around the country as soon as final testing is completed and the product is approved for sale by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority.