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Who would have ever thought that Gila monster saliva would be a good place to look for a type 2 diabetes drug?
June 2, 2011 3:02 PM   Subscribe

Improving Peptides: Small firms develop better peptide drug candidates to expand this pharmaceutical class and attract big pharma partners
posted by Blasdelb (7 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's pretty amazing that snake and cone shell venoms are so potent. That therapies are coming online from reengineering stuff in Nature is a pretty good argument for maintaining biodiversity. Who knows what else is out there to be found?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:08 PM on June 2, 2011


Yes, but what of the mint frosting?
posted by entropicamericana at 3:35 PM on June 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Sure is interesting to see the ways that clever people are overcoming the PK/PD hurdles to this class of therapies. It's a tricky, tricky issue. Thanks for sharing this article!
posted by Sublimity at 5:19 PM on June 2, 2011


About time peptides starting pulling their weight around here. Lazy amino acid bastards.
posted by Panjandrum at 5:23 PM on June 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


You want an impressive protein-based toxin, try tetanospasmin, the agent responsible for tetanus. It uses motor neurons like a highway to go straight to the brain. It hitch-hikes on the axonal transport system, so your nerves actually help deliver it. And when it reaches the end of one neuron it hops across the synapse to get to the next one. It's hard to overemphasize just how flagrantly ballsy that is. It's like fuck you blood-brain barrier, I'm the fucking boss of this nervous system. It's so potent that the amount needed to kill you is not even enough to trigger an immune response.

Nature is incredibly talented at designing insane peptidal weaponry.
posted by dephlogisticated at 5:36 PM on June 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


That therapies are coming online from have always come from reengineering stuff in Nature is a pretty good argument for maintaining biodiversity.

Almost all of our drugs are hacks on mother nature. If not, they're hacks on other drugs that were originally isolated from naturally occurring substances.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 9:51 PM on June 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also coal tar. We found a lot of useful molecules lurking in that stuff.
posted by ryanrs at 3:28 AM on June 3, 2011


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