between the

Venom and Toxin Research Laboratory, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

and the

Toxinology Center, University of Sind Jamshoro, Pakistan

Anti Snake Venom / Anti Rabies Serology Laboratory, Peoples Medical University Nawabshah

Department of Parasitology, Sindh Agriculture & Veterinary University Tando Jam

establishing the

Research Collaboration on Toxinology


This is an agreement entered into on this date, 15th  January 2016, by and between the Venom and Toxin Research Laboratory, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and the Toxinology Center University of Sindh Jamshoro, ASV/ARV Serology Laboratory PUMHS Nawabshah, Parasitology Department SAU Tando Jam Pakistan.

The partners have entered into this MOU because they:

  • Recognize the mutual interest in the field of toxinological research, particularly that involving snake venoms, toxins and antivenoms.
  • Recognize the importance of establishing the bilateral / international collaboration on toxinological research, training, method development and dissemination of knowledge.

Date for this MOA

The project period is 15th January 2016 – 31th January 2019. This MoA is intended to cover the entire project period.


Key members of both parties:

Research Team from Malaysia:
  1. Professor Dr Nget Hong Tan, Department of Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya
  2. Dr Choo Hock Tan, Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya
  3. Mr Kae Yi Tan, Department of Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya
Research Team from Pakistan:
  1. Professor Dr Allah Bux Ghanghro, Institute of Biochemistry Sindh University Jamshoro.
  2. Dr Naeem H Quraishi, Project Director Snake Antivenom/Antirabies Serology Lab, Peoples University of Medical & Health Sciences For Women Nawabshah.
  3. Professor Dr Abdullah Arejo, Department of Parasitology, Sindh Agriculture and Vterinary Sciences University Tando Jam.

The parties hereby agree to establish collaboration according to terms and conditions set out in the articles following hereunder.



Snakebite envenomation has been an important yet neglected medical problem in many parts of world, particularly aggravated in South Asia where human populations in most regions are heavily engaged in agricultural activities. In Pakistan, annual mortality estimates following envenomation were given between several thousands to 20,000, while some survived patients continued to suffer crippling limb deformity secondary to local tissue necrosis. The success of medical treatment of snakebite envenomation relies heavily on the availability of effective antivenom. This is the real challenge in many countries commonly due to limited supply, inferior quality or lack of species-specific efficacy of antivenom in the region.

Pakistan with its extremely diverse bioclimatic and topographic profiles exists as a home to a variety of unique herpetofauna. These include medically important venomous snakes not limited to the Indian Big 4 (Naja naja, Bungarus caeruleus, Daboia russelii, Echis carinatus) but several other endemic species or subspecies such as Bungarus sindanus and E. c. sochureki. The venom compositions of snakes are known to vary between and even within species, as influenced by ontogeneic, geographical, ecological, seasonal factors etc.. The ramification is extensive as the phenomenon can result in discrepancies in clinical syndrome and therapeutic response to antivenom, especially so when the antivenom is raised against venoms of snake from a certain locality that lacks representativeness. Hence, it is of utmost importance to seek to understand the compositional variations of venoms and the medical implications.

In this regards, the team from Pakistan has been active in specimen identification, sample collection and the manufacturing of local antivenom for Pakistan. The team from Malaysia has been engaged in profiling of various venoms, their genes and biological activities including neutralization by antivenom. The collaboration should see fruitful research outcomes that help to propel the science and to improve the medical management of snakebite envenomation in the region.


The general purpose of this MOU is to facilitate research collaboration between the parties and may include the following general cooperation areas:

  1. Joint research activities involving methodologies such as those stated below.
  2. Exchange of visiting experts for the purpose of conducting research.
  3. Invitations for attending scholarly and technical meetings as well as national and international conferences.
  4. Sharing of research findings resulted from the collaboration. Members who are involved and contributing can be coauthors of conference presentations and publications that arise.

Brief methodologies that may be involved in the collaboration:

  1. Characterization of venoms and antivenoms using biochemical, immunological and pharmacological assays including chromatography, electrophoresis, enzymatic determination, ELISA and immunoblotting, in vitro organ bath preparation and in vivo animal studies.
  2. Neutralization potency: to examine the neutralization potency of antivenoms by relevant bioassays which may involve the following:
    • Neutralization of lethality
    • Neutralization of hemorrhagic activity
    • Neutralization of pro-coagulant activity
    • Neutralization of neurotoxicity
    • Neutralization of cytotoxicity
    • Neutralization of myotoxicity
    • Neutralization of nephrotoxicity
  3. Mass spectrometry-based analysis will be used for proteome and immunome characterization.
  4. Other methods deemed appropriate by both sides as the research project progresses.


Khan, MS. (2014). The snakebite problem in Pakistan. Bull. Chicago Herp. Soc. 49(12):165-167.

Leong, PK, Tan, CH, Sim, SM, Fung, SY, Sumana, K. Sitprija, V, Tan, NH. (2014). Cross neutralization of common Southeast Asian viperid venoms by a Thai polyvalent antivenom (Hemato Polyvalent Snake Antivenom). Acta Tropica.132: 7-14.

Quraishi, NA, Qureshi, HI, Simpson, ID. (2008). A contextual approach to managing snake bite in Pakistan: Snake bite treatment with particular reference to neurotoxicity and the ideal hospital snake bite kit. J. Pakistan Med. Assoc. 58:325-331

Tan CH, Leong PK, Fung SY, Sim SM, Ponnudurai G, Ariaratnam C, et al. (2011) Cross neutralization of Hypnale hypnale (hump-nosed pit viper) venom by polyvalent and monovalent Malayan pit viper antivenoms in vitro and in a rodent model. Acta Trop. 117:119-24.

Tan KY, Tan CH, Fung SY, Tan NH. (2015) Venomics, lethality and neutralization of Naja kaouthia (monocled cobra) venoms from three different geographical regions of Southeast Asia. J Proteomics 2015;120:105-25.

Tan CH, Tan KY, Lim SE, Tan NH. Venomics of the beaked sea snake, Hydrophis schistosus: A minimalist toxin arsenal and its cross-neutralization by heterologous antivenoms. J Proteomics 126:121-30.

Tan CH, Tan, K.Y., Fung, S.F., Tan, N.H. (2015) Venom-gland transcriptome and venom proteome of the Malaysian king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah). BMC Genomics 16:687.

Yap, MK, Tan, NH, Sim, SM, Fung, SY, Tan, CH. (2014). Pharmacokinetics of Naja sumatrana (equatorial spitting cobra) venom and its major toxins in experimentally envenomed rabbits. PLoS Negl Trop Dis, 8(6):e2890.


  • At the University of Malaya, this MOU will be administered by Professor Nget Hong Tan and/or Dr Choo Hock Tan.
  • At the Toxinology Center University of Sindh Jamshoro this MOU will be administered by Professor Dr. Allah Bux Ghanghro and/ or Dr Naeem H Quraishi.


  1. This MOU is not intended to, and does not create any right, benefit, or trust responsibility, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or equity, by either party and its associates against the other party and its associates.
  2. This MOU does not obligate either party to commit or transfer any funds, assets, or other resources in support of projects or activities between the parties unless expressly stated in this agreement.
  3. Both parties agree to share their research outcomes in this joint collaboration while safeguarding the confidentiality of the research plan and data respectively.
  4. Both parties can include other members into the team on case to case basis as deemed relevant and appropriate.

Signed by

Research Team from Malaysia:

Research Team from Pakistan

Professor Dr Nget Hong Tan Professor Dr Allah Bux Ghanghro
Dr Choo Hock Tan Dr Naeem H Quraishi
Mr Kae Yi Tan Professor Dr Abdullah Arejo

Approved by:

Professor Dr Nget Hong Tan
(o/b Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya)
Vice Chancellor  University of Sindh
Vice Chancellor Peoples Medical University Vice Chancellor Sindh Agriculture & Veterinary University