Moderna COVID-19 vaccine co-founder is looking to use the same mRNA technology to treat venomous snakebites. The question here is, will it work?
Derrick Rossi, the co-founder of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, stated that he would only become satisfied with his work as soon as he has already had a substantial positive impact on humanity.
After his research on mRNA technology opened the door for a rapid introduction of a highly effective COVID-19 vaccine, he suddenly came to a realization - he was not yet ready to retire from his job.
Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Co-Founder Derrick Rossi
According to Global News, Rossi no longer works with Moderna because he is currently dedicating most of his time to his latest passion, which revolves around preventing thousands of injuries and deaths due to venomous snakebites.
Scientists who belong to the sophisticated snakebite research community confirmed that there is still no substantial theory on how venomous snakebites could be treated.
Rossi stated that venomous snakebites need to be viewed as a global health challenge as it kills 100,000 people every year, and maims approximately 500,000 more.
According to Global News, Rossi mentioned in one interview that mRNA could have other uses than vaccines. It can also be utilized for antisera which could be used to treat venomous snakebites.
Because of Rossi's comment, other scientists within the snakebite community became interested in knowing more about mRNA technology.
As a result, Rossi is now an adviser for Ophirex, a company currently working on a pill that could treat venomous snakebites.
Developing a Treatment for Venomous Snakebites
Matthew Lewin, the founder of Ophirex company, said that plenty of people die because of snakebites on the way to hospitals because most snakebite victims live days away from hospitals.
Another conflict is that antisera are pretty expensive and that it has to be kept in a cold environment to keep its efficacy.
As a remedy, Ophirex plans to create a pill that could target a specific enzyme found within the venom of most snakes. The enzyme is incredibly harmful, and the pill will stop it from harming the body.
According to Global News, both Rossi and Lewin mentioned that developing the pill could become the difference between a full recovery and a dying victim en route to the hospital.
Lewin added that 75% of snakebite deaths happen before patients could get help from medical professionals, and antisera have the chance to be manufactured and become better suited for humans.
It would be more effective than current antidotes, which utilize cells from horses.
Pill for Venomous Snakebites
They also hope that the pill would help victims recover faster and avoid the venom from damaging the body, wherein amputation might be the only key to survival.
Another reason why the company decided to go with a pill is that it is cheaper to manufacture. Thus, it is more accessible to the mass and easier for people to carry in their bags or pockets.
Related Article: Over 200 People Die From Snakebites Every Day
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Written by Fran Sanders