A compound extracted from marine snail venom may be a potent alternative to opioids for pain relief, new research suggests. Scientists at the University of Utah found that Rg1A, a compound isolated from the venom of Conus regius, a marine cone snail common in the Caribbean Sea, acts on a different pain pathway than those targeted by opioids. Prior research has indicated that these alternative pathways are effective in chronic pain and Rg1A is effective at blocking these receptors in rodents. Using marine snail venom to develop pain treatment is not a new concept. The venom of the Conus magus marine snail has been used to develop ziconotide, which is used to treat chronic pain in HIV and cancer patients.
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