10 March 2004

Killer snails kill pain?

This is a bit old

A sea-snail toxin could relieve chronic pain. Tests on rats hint the chemical could be 10,000 times more potent than morphine, non-addictive and not cause side-effects.

A team from the University of Melbourne led by Bruce Livett extracted the 'conotoxin' from a cone-shell snail. They will announce their patented discovery, called ACV1, this week at the Venoms to Drugs 2002 conference on Heron Island, Australia.

"We are confident not only that ACV1 inhibits pain, but also that it accelerates the recovery of injured nerves - a unique property not previously documented for an analgesic," says one of the research team, Zeinab Khalil. Moreover, says Khalil, "the universal way in which the drug blocks pain should mean it is effective in treating all types of chronic pain".

'Venoms to Drugs' would be a good name for an album