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"A project worth backing", is what Dr. Christophe Wiart, an associate professor at the University of Nottingham (Malaysia Campus) and founding member of the Asian Society of Pharmacognosy has been quoted saying about the new ATIS Global Snakebite Appeal, which was started by Douglas Shipton and Dr. Wiart's PhD student, Fiona Shipton. So what makes this appeal so different and special compared to so many other projects in the world? 
Well, for starters, it plans on being a world first, by developing a universal treatment for envenomation by all known snakes, a feat the current animal derived IgG antivenoms simply cannot do. It even shows great potential for treating envenomation by other animals as well, such as jellyfish, insects (such as bees and wasps), arachnids like the Black widow, and scorpions, just to name a few. 
"This Project has the power to change the world", Dr. Wiart was saying to the ATIS projects interviewer, Khadijah Asif, a former member of the Nottingham University’s NTV, during the filming of a mini documentary that is being produced to raise awareness of the ATIS Snakebite Project. 
So why a snakebite project? Snakebite is a tropical disease that has affected mankind for millennia, the WHO (world health organization) has listed it as a neglected tropical disease, which is neglected even for a neglected disease as it doesn’t have any official funding program, which has made it financially infeasible to undertake any real research on the development of a new treatment, however, the ATIS project leaders have stated even with this massive setback, the idea is to aid people in need, not to make money, after all, most of the 600,000 individuals severely affected by snakebite are poverty stricken.
The green mamba, a beautiful but notoriously deadly snake.
What exactly is this miracle cure? Although the ingredient list remains a secret (for the time being), the ATIS Research website clearly shows the basic principles of the treatment. IgG, which can be likened to a key and lock approach, needs to be very specific to work, and it can work, but in the vast majority of cases one antivenom cannot be used for envenomation by different species of snake, even if the snake is in the same family. However, the ATIS antivenom project uses chemicals derived from plants, which are far more broad in their choice of targets, and after perusing thousands of research papers, the project leaders came up with a list of suitable plant based chemicals they felt have shown the most potential, not only neutralize venom, but to be safe for use by small children. 
Humankind has used plant based medicines for millennia as a cure for almost every disease imaginable, and even with the world's change to high-tech medicine, when it comes to treating envenomation, modern medicine is still very much challenged. Current treatment for envenomation exhibits so many side effects and various other problems, such as allergic reactions in up to 75% of individuals receiving IgG based antivenoms and up to 8% reacting so severely to the treatment that IgG antivenom itself proves more deadly than any snakebite due to anaphylactic shock, it’s no wonder that the ATIS snakebite project plans on using our ancestor's traditional knowledge, updating it to the modern era, and using plants, once again, to cure this terrible disease, but this time not just one type of venom, but all of them. 
Included on this list is the most notoriously deadly sea snakes, Australian inland taipans, Americas Bothrops, African cobras and the Asian Russell’s viper. It is anticipated to do all this, not only by using powerful, natural chemicals, but along with a unique method of applying the treatment, which has been shown in various ways to be quick acting and deeply penetrating. Unlike conventional antivenoms, which can only be administered at a medical facility due to the high risk of serious side effects, this new antivenom is being developed as a first aid product, which means that instead of having to wait for hours to get to a hospital an individual can apply the first aid treatment within seconds after the emergency occurs. 
If the research project is funded and successful in its goals, it is anticipated to help up to 5.5 million people annually. As the ATIS research website states, that’s a snakebite every 6 seconds, and affects more people yearly than the entire population of countries like Norway or Singapore. 
If you are interested in learning more about the project or contributing to it, check out their web site at The mini documentary featuring The Asian Society of Pharmacognosy's founding member, Dr. Christophe Wiart, is expected to be released online later this year.