Researchers in Queensland are using venom from one of the world’s deadliest snakes to help cardiac patients when they visit hospital.
The venom of an Australian snake so deadly it can kill a person within half an hour is being used to help save lives.
Queensland start-up company Q-Sera is using the coastal taipan’s deadly venom to develop clotting technology for use in blood collection tubes.
One of the reasons the venom of the coastal taipan, found on Queensland’s northeast coast, is so deadly is because its interferes with blood clotting, often causing its victim to bleed to death.
Q-Sera’s Dr Goce Dimeski says the venom can be used to clot and coagulate blood to make serum for pathology tests, particularly for cardiac patients on anticoagulants, which prevent blood clotting.
“The problem with anticoagulants is that they can throw a blood test out,” Dr Dimeski said.
“If the blood testing is not accurate, getting the medication balance can be difficult, causing distress for patients and it costs the taxpayer more due to retesting.”
The project is being supported by the Queensland Government’s Medical Research Commercialisation Fund, which is being boosted by $990,000 over three years.
“It often takes time before medical breakthroughs that could benefit thousands of people are commercially available, but the Queensland government wants to speed that up,” Innovation Minister Ian Walker said.
Coastal taipans are considered the world’s third most venomous snake, with the venom from a single bite enough to kill almost 100,000 mice.