An antivenin to treat North American rattlesnake bites, designed by the Institute of Biotechnology (IBt), of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), and the Mexican company Laboratorios Silanes was authorized for commercialization in the United States (US), by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as of October 2018.
Anavip is an antivenin designed exclusively for poisoning of snakes of the Crotalus genus, including rattlesnakes. The Mexican scientist Alejandro Alagón Cano, a researcher of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), participated in its development.
The technological production process was patented by the Bioclon Institute, a joint company that belongs to Laboratorios Silanes and the IBt.
According to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is estimated that the incidence of poisonous snake bites among the US population is seven to eight thousand cases per year, mainly in the southern border, particularly in the estates of California, Arizona and Texas.
The polyclonal antibodies that make up the Anavip are made by immunizing horses with the snake venom, and the horses produce antibodies.
Bioclon-Silanes conducted clinical trials for Anavip in the US with the support of Rare Disease Therapeutics Inc., to assess its safety, efficacy and time of action. According to the results, it can be used in children and adults, minimizing the possibility of the reappearance of the poison effects, i.e. the reduction of platelets, the bleeding times and abnormalities in blood coagulation are reduced.
The development of Anavip took nine years, in which UNAM researcher Dr. Alagón Cano along with Dr. Leslie Boyer, of the University of Arizona Boyer, participated in the design, planning, monitoring, analysis and clinical trials of the product, according to what is stipulated by the FDA’s Chemistry Manufacturing and Controls and the Biologics License Applications.
It should be noted that the FDA reports 19 clinical trials with antivenins, 11 of them employ products developed by Dr. Alejandro Alagón, who in 2005 was awarded the National Prize for Science and Arts in the area of Technology and Design.