Frequently Asked Questions
FAQs - Answers
Are venoms dangerous to work with?
Venom fractions supplied by Venomtech are no more dangerous to work with than many other pharmaceutical actives. Venoms do contain toxic compounds (proteins and peptides) but we supply full Safety Data Sheets (SDS) with our shipments and will happily send them in advance. In practice systems used for screening pharmaceutical actives are suitable for screening venoms and fractions thereof. Such systems include local exhaust ventilation for dissolving powders, once used any left overs can be disposed via autoclave with the other biological material from the assay.
How much venom is provided in each fraction?
200ng protein is supplied. The amount of venom provided is standardised according to protein content. Protein content is determined by microspectrophotometry.
Can I use DMSO?
We advise to avoid the use of DMSO as it can sulphonate proteins and peptides and thus there is the potential to modify the unknown and make deconvolution and identification very difficult.
Can venom peptides be made into drugs?
Yes, there are venom peptides already on the market such as Byetta®, Echistatin and Prialt® but also venoms have been used in the discovery of other drugs such as Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) inhibitors like Captopril®, and peptomimetics like Eptifibatide.
What is the Nagoya Protocol on Biodiversity?
Entering into force on 12 October 2014, The Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing is an international agreement which aims at sharing the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources in a fair and equitable way.
Are venom peptides immunogenic?
Venom peptides useful in drug discovery, cosmetics and crop science are poorly recognised by the immune systems of animals that they rarely illicit an immune response, even when one is needed. Many venom components, especially small peptides, are poorly immunogenic. However whole snake venoms do elicit immune reactions including anaphylaxis in humans. Because of the risk of whole venom sensitisation, we operate strict, safe systems of work, including local exhaust ventilation to protect our staff.