Wednesday, January 31, 2007

What does Medtoxin Venom Laboratories actually do ?

Medtoxin Venom Laboratories produce the first step in a complicated process to deliver the antidote to poisonous snakebites - we actually produce the venom - the stuff that kills people.

Carl Barden, Director of Medtoxin Venom Laboratories says "This is a very common misconception we produce whole venom not the antidote."

We do this from our purpose built serpentarium based in DeLand, Florida where we hold approximately 700 snakes comprising about 40 different species. We then under very strict laboratory control harvest venom from many of the most poisonous snakes on the planet. This is done by expert handlers and with the least amount of stress to the animal as possible, not least as you do not want an angry venomous reptile on your hands. We do this work not least because we actually think highly of our charges and are passionate about snakes.

The venom that is produced Medtoxin Venom Laboratories, under sterile conditions, is then used for a variety of purposes including producing antibodies to counteract the effects of a poisonous snakebite. Some however, is used for medical reseach by pharmaceutical companies looking for cures for a variety of other medical conditions aside from simply counteracting a poisonous bite.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Introducing Medtoxin Venom Laboratories

Medtoxin Venom laboratories is located in Deland Florida about 20 miles west of Daytona Beach. Medtoxin opened in 1994 as a commercial venom production facility dedicated to the large scale production of snake venom for research and pharmaceutical applications.

Medtoxin designed, built and moved into its modern laboratory facility in 1999. Our current facility is designed to house about 800 snakes, in several large holding rooms, the facility also includes a small office and modern venom processing laboratory. All rooms are climate controlled and have automatic photoperiod and temperature cycling to meet the needs of the species housed within. Currently Medtoxin is housing about 700 specimens of about 40 species.

Venoms are collected in a sterile manner under strict laboratory conditions. Snakes bite into a variety of collection receptacles, the venom gland is never massaged and most specimens are caught and extracted from on 14 day cycles. Venoms are normally centrifuged cold, frozen and lyophilized within six hours of extraction. The dried venom is normally packed and stored dark at -20c.

Medtoxins stringent processing results in a venom product of the highest quality. Venoms can be pooled or collected from individual specimens and processing can be altered to meet any research needs. Venoms advertised are most often currently in production and in stock. Depending on species stock quantities normally range from one hundred milligrams up to hundreds of grams, with target quantities of at least 10 grams in stock if we are advertising the venom.

Medtoxin is dedicated to conservation and in all possible instances builds colonies of snakes from captive born stock either produced in house or from reputable breeders or zoos. Some of our venom line has also been built from nuisance removal and confiscation. Many of our snakes have been on the venom line for 10 years these animals eat voluntarily and continue to reproduce in captivity, we are dedicated to the finest captive care and highest standards in animal husbandry. Medtoxin maintains a staff of highly trained and experienced animal care technicians with decades of experience working with venomous reptiles.

Medtoxin distributes venoms and venom products worldwide to researchers, universities, private laboratories and pharmaceutical companies. We are dedicated to producing quality venoms in quantity to meet the needs of the research and pharmaceutical community.