Special Issue "Next-Generation Antivenoms: Discovery, Development, and Manufacturability"

A special issue of Toxins (ISSN 2072-6651). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Venoms".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Timothy P. Jenkins
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Guest Editor
Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine, Technical University of Denmark, 2800 Kongens Lyngby, Denmark
Interests: next-generation antivenoms; recombinant antivenom; alternative protein scaffolds; therapeutic discovery; phage display; bioinformatics; droplet microfluidics; snakebite envenoming; biologics; antibody technologies; oligoclonal antibodies; biotech entrepreneurship and innovation; commercialization of life science.
Dr. Andreas Hougaard Laustsen
E-Mail
Guest Editor
Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine, Technical University of Denmark, 2800 Kongens Lyngby, Denmark
Interests: antibody discovery; phage display; toxin neutralization; biologics; biotherapeutics; antibody technologies; oligoclonal antibodies; recombinant antivenom; toxicovenomics; snakebite envenoming; mamba venoms; toxin synergism; next-generation antivenoms; infectious diseases; biotech entrepreneurship; commercialization of life science; biotech innovation.
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Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

For a long time, animal envenomings have been an overlooked problem, despite the hundreds of thousands of deaths and disabilities caused by this disease each year. However, since envenomings predominantly affect the poor, an absence of research funding has been met with a similar lack of innovation. Fortunately, technological advances, alongside an increase in public funding, are now presenting a new horizon for envenoming therapeutics.

The dire scarcity of efficacious and affordable antivenoms necessitates a significant overhaul in how we approach envenoming therapeutics. A key paradigm shift lies in the change of focus from plasma-derived antivenoms to targeted therapeutic molecules neutralizing (only) medically relevant toxins. Indeed, recent advances have investigated therapeutic molecules, which are either inherently broadly specific against certain toxin (sub-)families (e.g., some enzymatic inhibitors) or scaffold molecules, which can be easily adapted to neutralize multiple targets (e.g., antibodies or similar scaffold proteins). Furthermore, efforts are being made to ensure that the discovery and development of such toxin-neutralizing molecules can be conducted in a parallelized high-throughput fashion and that manufacturability via standardized large-scale and low-cost production processes is ensured.

The focus of this Special Issue of Toxins will be on next-generation antivenoms. We invite you to submit original research articles and reviews on all aspects concerning the discovery, development, and manufacturability of such antivenoms. This includes novel screening approaches, in vitro functional assays, the discovery of new toxin binders and neutralizers, innovative strategies towards the production of antitoxins, and bioinformatic tools to aid these processes.

Dr. Timothy P. Jenkins
Dr. Andreas Hougaard Laustsen
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Toxins is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Next-generation antivenoms
  • recombinant antivenoms
  • antivenom development
  • antivenom manufacture
  • small molecule toxin inhibitors
  • toxin neutralization
  • monoclonal antibodies
  • alternative protein scaffolds
  • toxicovenomics

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

Article
A Novel Apilic Antivenom to Treat Massive, Africanized Honeybee Attacks: A Preclinical Study from the Lethality to Some Biochemical and Pharmacological Activities Neutralization
Toxins 2021, 13(1), 30; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins13010030 - 05 Jan 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 830
Abstract
Massive, Africanized honeybee attacks have increased in Brazil over the years. Humans and animals present local and systemic effects after envenomation, and there is no specific treatment for this potentially lethal event. This study evaluated the ability of a new Apilic antivenom, which [...] Read more.
Massive, Africanized honeybee attacks have increased in Brazil over the years. Humans and animals present local and systemic effects after envenomation, and there is no specific treatment for this potentially lethal event. This study evaluated the ability of a new Apilic antivenom, which is composed of F(ab’)2 fraction of specific immunoglobulins in heterologous and hyperimmune equine serum, to neutralize A. mellifera venom and melittin, in vitro and in vivo, in mice. Animal experiments were performed in according with local ethics committee license (UFRJ protocol no. DFBCICB072-04/16). Venom dose-dependent lethality was diminished with 0.25–0.5 μL of intravenous Apilic antivenom/μg honeybee venom. In vivo injection of 0.1–1 μg/g bee venom induced myotoxicity, hemoconcentration, paw edema, and increase of vascular permeability which were antagonized by Apilic antivenom. Cytotoxicity, assessed in renal LLC-PK1 cells and challenged with 10 μg/mL honeybee venom or melittin, was neutralized by preincubation with Apilic antivenom, as well the hemolytic activity. Apilic antivenom inhibited phospholipase and hyaluronidase enzymatic activities. In flow cytometry experiments, Apilic antivenom neutralized reduction of cell viability due to necrosis by honeybee venom or melittin. These results showed that this antivenom is effective inhibitor of honeybee venom actions. Thus, this next generation of Apilic antivenom emerges as a new promising immunobiological product for the treatment of massive, Africanized honeybee attacks. Full article
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