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Spider Pharm is a small, family-owned business, with nearly 30 years of experience in the production of venoms from a wide range of spiders and other arthropods for use in research.
The company was started in the early 1980's with a very simply goal:
Promote the exploration and use of spider venoms and toxins in research by making them more accessible.
At that time, few venoms were being explored, Very specialized expertise and methods are required to dissect, understand and learn how to use venoms and toxins and we can learn more if the venoms are readily available to for researchers with diverse interests and expertise.
We needed to get many different kinds venom into several labs so they could start to make discoveries and, once discoveries had been made, we had to be able to scale up production as economically as possible, to make subsequent research possible.
New methods were required for breeding, raising and feeding large numbers of spiders. Better diets and nutrition helped to reduce cannibalism and improve growth rates and a new cup system made it much easier to feed and care for large number of spiders in a reasonable amount of time.
At the time, most venoms were obtained by dissection of venom glands, which was costly, inefficient and produced a messy extract. Nonlethal milking techniques had been developed though they tended to be inefficient and the venoms were generally contaminated. It took more than two years to develop simple and efficient methods for milking spiders, which incorporated adequate safeguards against contamination.
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