ADDovenom researchers lead Engineering Biology Mission Award project

ADDovenom researchers will lead a new project on snakebite treatments, one of twenty-two UKRI Engineering Biology Mission Awards announced by the UK government in February 2024. 

Prof Christiane Schaffitzel (University of Bristol) is Principal Investigator, with Prof Nick Casewell (LSTM) as Co-Investigator, on the project: Haemotoxic and cytotoxic snake venom metalloproteinases – production, enzymatic specificity, snakebite treatment, and biomedical use

The team will establish robust production of snake venom metalloproteinase (SVMPs) toxins ready for use to develop next generation toxin-specific therapies for tackling snakebite envenoming. SVMPs also exhibit functional specificities desirable for biomedical purposes, as several are used as the basis for anti-platelet drugs or standards for the clinical diagnosis of bleeding disorders. The team will use recombinant, native and engineered toxins to identify new platelet inhibitors that block specific platelet surface receptors that are known drug targets.

Funding of £100m has been awarded to the Mission Awards, plus six Mission Hubs, “to address global challenges, drive economic growth, and increase national security, resilience and preparedness. These…projects will play a key role in achieving the goals of government’s national vision for engineering biology that was announced in December 2023.”

Profs Christiane Schaffitzel and Nick Casewell