Development Africanized Honey Bee Antivenom

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 21878
Amount: $49,617.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 1993
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Ophidian Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
2800 South Fish Hatchery Road, Madison, WI, 53711
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Douglas C. Stafford
 (608) 271-0878
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution
The northward migration from Brazil of the Africanized honey bee (AHB), Apis mellifera scutellata, following their accidental release presents a new U. S. public health concern. Because of the AHB's extremely defensive colony behavior, persons may be attacked by swarms; this will result in hundreds to thousands of stings. In these instances, potentially lethal quantities of venom are delivered (similar to snakebite); there is not a commercial antivenom available to neutralize toxicity. It is projected that up to 6,000 individuals annually will receive serious stings in the U. S. following establishment of feral populations. We will develop an AHB antivenom using proprietary methods for the production of pharmaceutical-grade polyclonal antibodies from hyperimmune hen eggs. High-purity avian antivenoms have been shown to have superior venom-neutralizing capabilities when compared to conventional mammalian products and are expected to reduce inflammatory side effects. Hens will be immunized with whole bee venom followed by extraction of total hyperimmune yolk Ig and purification by affinity chromatography. The resulting antibodies will be characterized by in vitro immunochemical analyses and by venom neutralization in a mouse protection assay. Based on these feasibility studies, expanded formal development is anticipated to continue to fulfill pharmaceutical licensing requirements.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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