Metaculus Help: Spread the word
If you like Metaculus, tell your friends! Share this question via Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit.
Clinical trials of a "universal" snakebite antidote?
A team of independent researchers led by Dr. Matthew Lewin at Ophirex, Inc. is working to develop a universal antidote to snakebite.
Snakes bite around 5 million people each year, resulting in about 100,000 deaths worldwide. Bites are traditionally treated with antivenoms, which are snake-specific, expensive, temperature-sensitive, and often require medical expertise to administer, conditions that make snakebite difficult to treat outside a hospital. An effective antidote, in contrast, would be both heat-stable and broadly effective, interfering with venom’s destructive biochemical effects, which might include paralysis, excessive clotting or bleeding, necrosis, or a combination.
Lewin’s research team has identified varespladib and varespladib methyl, off-patent drugs originally developed as an anti-inflammatory, as potential antidotes. These drugs inhibit an enzyme called sPLA2, which is produced in the human body during inflammation and is also a component of snake venom. The drugs have been tested in humans for other uses, but never obtained FDA approval.
Early research shows that the drugs are effective in neutralizing sPLA2 in a large variety of snake venoms. In preliminary rodent studies, rats who received varespladib treatments 1-5 minutes after lethal doses of snake venom all went on to survive at least 24 hours. No human trials have yet been undertaken, though Lewin conducted a UCSF-approved trial on himself in April 2013.
Will a clinical trial be entered into the US database with a start date prior to 1/1/2018, to test the use of varespladib and/or varespladib methyl as snake venom antidotes in humans?
Metaculus help: Predicting
Predictions are the heart of Metaculus. Predicting is how you contribute to the wisdom of the crowd, and how you earn points and build up your personal Metaculus track record.
The basics of predicting are very simple: move the slider to best match the likelihood of the outcome, and click predict. You can predict as often as you want, and you're encouraged to change your mind when new information becomes available.
The displayed score is split into current points and total points. Current points show how much your prediction is worth now, whereas total points show the combined worth of all of your predictions over the lifetime of the question. The scoring details are available on the FAQ.
Note: this question resolved before its original close time. All of your predictions came after the resolution, so you did not gain (or lose) any points for it.
Note: this question resolved before its original close time. You earned points up until the question resolution, but not afterwards.
This question is not yet open for predictions.
Metaculus help: Community Stats
Use the community stats to get a better sense of the community consensus (or lack thereof) for this question. Sometimes people have wildly different ideas about the likely outcomes, and sometimes people are in close agreement. There are even times when the community seems very certain of uncertainty, like when everyone agrees that event is only 50% likely to happen.
When you make a prediction, check the community stats to see where you land. If your prediction is an outlier, might there be something you're overlooking that others have seen? Or do you have special insight that others are lacking? Either way, it might be a good idea to join the discussion in the comments.
Embed this question
You can use the below code snippet to embed this question on your own webpage. Feel free to change the height and width to suit your needs.