Table 1

Examples of promising products in the R&D pipeline for SBE

Product categoriesMechanism of actionDescription and potential use
Small-molecule inhibitors13Inhibition of venom phospholipase A2 (sPLA2) enzyme
  • Promising rapid treatment for venom-induced neurotoxicity and cytotoxicity

  • Can be administered quickly, before patient accesses injectable antivenoms, or as adjuvant treatment

  • Neutralisation of broad spectrum of venoms

Inhibition of venom metalloproteases
  • Inhibits haemorrhagic activity of venoms

  • Acceptable safety profile for use as anticancer drug due to antiangiogenesis properties

Monoclonal antibodies
Neutralisation of venom
  • Neutralisation of key toxins from different snake species by binding to conserved epitopes

  • Creation of region-specific cocktails of a few antibodies tailored to local snake distribution

  • Reduced risk of anaphylactic shock with use of humanised mAbs

Rapid diagnostic tests15Venom-identification kits
  • Earlier diagnosis of systemic envenomations

  • Improved identification of offending snake species

  • More rational use of antivenoms

  • R&D, research and development; SBE, snakebite envenoming.