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Joseph B.,Interdiscipilinary Research Center | Rajan S.S.,Interdiscipilinary Research Center | Jeevitha M.V.,Interdiscipilinary Research Center | Ajisha S.U.,Interdiscipilinary Research Center | Jini D.,Interdiscipilinary Research Center
International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences | Year: 2011

The venom of the Conus species is composed of conotoxins, which are neurotoxins of low molecular weight. Their action is extremely fast, which is compatible with the slowness of the snail in its environment and the consequent difficulty involved in capturing the poisoned prey. Conotoxins produced by cone snail contain a tremendously diverse natural pharmacology. Conotoxins contains hundreds of different compounds, and its exact composition varies widely from one species of cone snail to another. Some cone snail venoms also contain a pain-reducing toxin, which the snail uses to pacify the victim before immobilising and then killing it. Conotoxins produced by certain species of cone snails shows much promise for providing a non-addictive pain reliever 1000 times as powerful as, and possibly a replacement for, morphine. Many peptides such as AVC1 isolated from Australian species Conus victoriae has proved very effective in treating post surgical and neuropathic pain, even accelerating recovery from nerve injury. The pain killer "Ziconotide" derived from conotoxins was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in December 2004 under the name Prialt. Other drugs are in clinical and preclinical trials, such as compounds of the toxin that may be used in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and epilepsy.

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