Small Molecule Drug Discovery for Neglected Tropical Snakebite

News article 25 Mar 2021
55

The Centre for Snakebite Research and Interventions has published an opinion piece on the promise of small molecule drugs as new snakebite treatment in the journal Trends in Pharmacological Sciences.

Snakebite envenoming is responsible for as many as 138 000 deaths annually, making it the world’s most lethal neglected tropical disease (NTD). There is an urgent need to improve snakebite treatment, which currently relies on outdated and poorly tolerated biologic antivenoms that are often weakly efficacious, must be given intravenously in a healthcare setting, and are expensive to those who need them the most.

The team describe the challenges associated with the discovery and development of new snakebite treatments and detail the great potential of venom toxin-inhibiting small molecule drugs. They finish by highlighting successful enabling strategies applied to other NTDs that could be exploited to facilitate the development of next-generation small molecule–based snakebite treatments.

Small Molecule Drug Discovery for Neglected Tropical Snakebite
Rachel H. Clare Steven R. Hall  Rohit N. Patel Nicholas R. Casewell
Published:March 24, 2021  DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tips.2021.02.005