New anti-venom R&D centre to come up in Bengaluru

New anti-venom R&D centre to come up in Bengaluru

The centre will come up on a total built-up area of about 16,000 sq ft

Representative image. Credit: DH File Photo

A new Anti-Venom Research and Development Centre would come up in Bengaluru at a cost of Rs seven crore for which foundation was laid on Monday.

Till then, the centre would start functioning at Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology (IBAB), "Bengaluru Helix Biotech Park" located in Electronics city in the next 5 years.

Speaking after laying the foundation, Karnataka Minister for IT-BT and Skill Development and Training, Dr C N Ashwath Narayan said, India is considered the global capital for snakebites, causing 58,000 deaths and 137,000 disabilities annually.

He expressed confidence that the centre would contribute to reducing the number of deaths due to snakebites to which farmers are the majority of victims in the country.

"One of the major limitations of pursuing snake venom research in India is the lack of accessibility to venoms. Owing to this, a vast knowledge gap exists in the field of snake venom research in the country," the minister said.

He also said that the AVRDC would be established as a collaborative initiative between Karnataka Innovative & Technological Society of Department of IT/BT, Institute of Bioinformatics & Applied Biotechnology, and the Evolutionary Venomics Lab.

Narayan explained that the Centre for Ecological Sciences and the Indian Institute of Science, will facilitate overcome these limitations.

According to him, this will be a first of its kind state-of-the-art centre for snakebite research in India, which will house about 500 snakes belonging to about 23 species of snakes and other venomous animals like scorpions, spiders, etc from the Indian sub-continent.

It will also house a research facility and incubation centre for start-ups interested in pursuing biodiscovery research on venoms, Narayan said.

The centre will come up on a total built-up area of about 16,000 sq ft and will have a serpentarium, venom extraction observatory, research lab, incubation facility and digital library.

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