Google Play icon

Pain drug in pipeline as researchers unwind marine snail puzzle

Share
Posted April 12, 2016

A University of Queensland researcher has made a big step toward the holy grail of biomedical science — a new form of effective pain relief.

School of Biomedical Sciences researcher Dr Richard Clark said marine snail venom was a well-known and promising source of new pain drugs, but substantial hurdles had restrained progress.

“Translating the venom’s toxins into a viable drug has proved difficult,” Dr Clark said.

“But now we’ve been able to identify a core component of one of these conotoxins (toxins from cone snail venom) during laboratory tests.

“We think this will make it much easier to translate the active ingredient into a useful drug.”

Dr Clark said a sea snail used its venom to immobilise prey and protect itself.

“The venom’s analgesic properties have been well researched,” he said.

“In this study, we’ve been able to shrink a particular conotoxin to its minimum necessary components for the pain relief properties to continue to work.

“Using a laboratory rat model, we used the modified conotoxin to successfully treat pain generated in the colon, similar to that experienced by humans with irritable bowel syndrome.

“Although the conotoxin has been modified, its pain relief properties remained as effective as the full-size model.

“Simplifying the conotoxin will make a drug much faster and cheaper to develop.”

Dr Clark said further research was under way to improve the modified conotoxin’s stability and to test its ability to treat other types of pain.

Source: The University of Queensland

Featured news from related categories:

Technology Org App
Google Play icon
84,804 science & technology articles

Most Popular Articles

  1. New Class of Painkillers Offers all the Benefits of Opioids, Minus the Side Effects and Addictiveness (Yesterday)
  2. Top NASA Manager Says the 2024 Moon Landing by Astronauts might not Happen (September 19, 2019)
  3. How social media altered the good parenting ideal (September 4, 2019)
  4. What's the difference between offensive and defensive hand grenades? (September 26, 2019)
  5. Just How Feasible is a Warp Drive? (September 25, 2019)

Follow us

Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   Tumblr   RSS   Newsletter via Email