Efforts to break down proteins in the venom of some organisms have flourished in recent years, leading to important drug discoveries.

As research continues on the components of these natural toxins through advanced technologies, the number of promising molecules that have been discovered is increasing.

In a report published by The New York Times, author Jim Robbins quoted Leslie V. Boyer, professor emeritus of pathology at the University of Arizona, that “a century ago we thought poison contained 3 or 4 ingredients, and now We know that only one type of toxin can contain thousands of molecules."

deadly fraser island spider

The author mentioned that the most advanced natural poison on the planet contributes to the creation of a number of effective drugs, and one of the most promising drugs derived from venom to date comes from the deadly Fraser Island funnel web spider in Australia, which stops cell death after suffering a bout cardiomyopathy;


After a heart attack, blood flow to the heart decreases, making the cell environment more acidic and leading to cell death.

The drug, a protein called Hi1A, is scheduled to undergo clinical trials next year.

It was tested in the laboratory on cells of a beating heart, according to Nathan Balbant, a researcher at the University of Queensland in Australia who helped make the discovery.

heart attack

If trials prove effective, this drug could be used in emergency situations, and may prevent damage that occurs after heart attacks and possibly improve outcomes in heart transplants by keeping the donor's heart healthy for longer.

The author pointed out that the techniques used to treat poison compounds have become so advanced that they create new opportunities.

Dr Brian Fry, associate professor at the University of Queensland who specializes in toxicology, said: "We can do assays nowadays with just a few micrograms of toxin, whereas 10 or 15 years ago it would have required hundreds of micrograms or more."

A complex mixture of toxins

There are hundreds of thousands of species of reptiles, insects, spiders, snails, jellyfish, and many other poisonous creatures, and the composition of the poison varies from animal to animal.

The venom consists of a complex mixture of toxins consisting of proteins with unique properties, and is highly lethal.

Many of the available drugs are derived from venom, such as Captopril, which was first made in the 1970s from Brazilian jararaca pit viper venom to treat high blood pressure and was a commercial success, and Exenatide, which is derived from lizard venom. The Gila monster venom to treat type 2 diabetes, and Draculin, which is made from vampire bat venom, an anticoagulant used to treat stroke and heart attacks.

cone snails

There are some proteins that may be promising to make new drugs, but they must undergo a series of manufacturing processes and lengthy clinical trials that can take many years and cost millions of dollars.

In March, researchers at the University of Utah announced that they had discovered a fast-acting molecule in cone snails that release venom on fish causing the victims' insulin levels to drop too quickly, killing them, and said it was a promising drug for diabetes.

Also, bee venom treats a wide range of diseases and has recently been found to kill cancerous cells in the breast.

scorpion venom

Scorpion venom is extracted by exposing it to a small electric current, which causes it to secrete a small drop of amber liquid at the tip of its tail, while snake venom is extracted by gently massaging the venom glands.

Then, the extracted material is sent to researchers around the world.

All of these toxins may open up areas for new drugs in the future, which will have a positive impact on human health.

Keywords: