SQU Obtains New Patent

Muscat, Apr 2 (ONA) — Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) received a

new patent for the invention called “Method of Making an Ajwa Date-

Based Treatment for Snake Envenomation” invented by Dr. Sidgi Syed

Anwar Hassan and Prof. Ali Abdullah Hassan al-Jabri from the College

of Medicine & Health Sciences, Immunology division.

The patent application for this invention was filed on 25/5/2017 and

registered from the USPTO. The invention relates to treatments of

snake envenomation, and particularly to a method of making an Ajwa

date-based composition for the treatment of snake envenomation that

uses an ethanolic extract of date fruits from the Ajwa date palm to treat

local hemorrhage and edema induced by snake bite from venomous


Commenting on their work, Prof. Ali al-Jabri said that the invention

was the results of more than ten years of continuous research work. It

relates to a novel treatment for snake envenomation, and particularly to

a method of making an Ajwa date-based composition for the effective

treatment of snake envenomation that uses an ethanolic extract of date

fruit from the Ajwa date (Phoenix dactylifera L) palm to treat local

hemorrhage and oedema induced by snake bites from venomous

snakes, he said. The importance of this invention is related to the fact

that there are more than 5.5 million snakebites annually across the

globe, which usually results in almost two million envenoming of which

more than 95,000 deaths.

Envenoming by snakes such as Echis ocellatus (E. ocellatus) and

Naja naja nigricollis is responsible for several clinical complications of

severe systemic and local pathology. For example, E. ocellatus leads to

inflammation (such as swelling, blistering, and necrosis) and

haemorrhages due to both metalloproteases and ecarin (an enzyme

that activates prothrombin). On the other hand, envenoming by Naja

naja nigricollis induced clinical complications different from that caused

by E. ocellatus. These include local necrosis, haemorrhage,

complement depletion, and respiratory arrest or paralysis.

Prof. al-Jabri said that although great efforts have been dedicated to

effective remedial and preventive methods, there is currently no

adequate treatment for local haemorghe, oedema and necrosis caused

by snake envenomation.

Intravenous administration of antivenom, prepared from antibodies

(IgG) of venom-immunised horses or sheep, is an effective treatment

for systemic envenoming. However, antivenom is of limited

effectiveness against the effects of local haemorrhage and oedema

that develop rapidly after a snakebite. Research to develop treatment

for local haemorrhage, oedema and dermonecrosis is therefore of

clinical priority and has focused on the application of natural or

synthetic inhibitors of snake venom potent molecules.

“The rational of the current invention was, therefore, to search for an

agent that fulfill the drawbacks associated with the current antivenom.

Luckily after a long period of investigations the inventors came up with

an adequate and a novel method that results in the treatment of local

hemorrhage caused by snake venoms and not only preventing death

but also other clinical complications associated with snake

envenomation. Hence, this invention may also be applicable against

other venomous living creatures, such as scorpions, sea snakes,

poisonous frogs and spiders as well as others. The end users of this

invention can be tourists, soldiers, among others, who may be at risk of

being exposed to poisonous creatures, Prof al-Jabri said.

Source: Oman News Agency