Bioinspired Synthetic Nanoparticles as Universal Antivenom

Period of Performance: 08/18/2015 - 08/23/2017


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Luna Innovations, Inc.
301 1st St Suite 200
Roanoke, VA 24011
Principal Investigator


Special Operations Forces that are deployed in austere areas in the AFRICOM and PACOM are associated with an increased risk of envenomation. Current treatment uses species-specific or polyvalent antivenins that are generated from the sera of animals immunized with whole venom, necessitating the correct identification of the venomous species and continuous injection of large volume of antibodies at an ICU-capable medical facility with increased risk of life-threatening complications. There is a clear capability gap to protect deployed soldiers against venom exposure. Luna proposes to develop bioinspired synthetic nanoparticles as broad-spectrum antidotes with antibody-like affinity and improved toxin-neutralizing capacity. The technical feasibility was demonstrated by rational design, synthesis, and in vitro testing of nanoparticles for five subclasses of venom toxins in the Phase I. Phase II effort will focus on optimize nanoparticles to achieve broad ?spectrum protection against whole venoms for at least one particular United States Armed Forces Command regions. The Phase II will thoroughly evaluate the efficacy, safety and PKPD of nanoparticle antidote and these IND-enabling preclinical studies will prepare for an IND application.