Drug development from Australian elapid snake venoms and the Venomics pipeline of candidates for haemostasis: Textilinin-1 (Q8008), Haempatch (TM) (Q8009) and CoVase (TM) (V0801)
Snake venoms are attractive for drug discovery and development, with a number of therapeutics derived from snake venom either in clinical use or in development. Recognising this opportunity, Australian biopharmaceutical company QRxPharma Ltd and its subsidiary Venomics Pty Ltd (VPL) has partnered with the University of Queensland (UQ) to screen and develop drug candidates from Australian elapid snake venoms. VPL has three haemostasis candidates in early preclinical development. Textilinin-1 (Q8008) is a 7 kDa potent and selective plasmin inhibitor that has application as an anti-fibrinolytic agent to reduce blood loss associated with complex surgeries. Haempatch™ (Q8009) is a Factor Xa-like protein that displays potent procoagulant effects and is being developed as a topical haemostatic agent to reduce blood loss resulting from surgery or trauma. CoVase™ (V0801) is a procoagulant cofactor that may have application as a systemic anti-bleeding agent in the treatment of internal bleeding and non-compressible haemorrhage. This review focuses on drug discovery from Australian elapid snake venoms, with emphasis on the QRxPharma/VPL drug discovery project undertaken in collaboration with UQ and candidates at further stages of development.
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