News & Research

Pain Relief in the Strangest Places

Sure, penicillin came from mold, but I never think of creatures as the source for medications. Prialt is a non-opioid painkiller made from synthetic venom of a deadly sea snail. It can only be delivered by an implanted pain pump, so it’s for people with severe chronic pain pain. (Sorry if I got your hopes up.)

This painkiller appears the first of many possible compounds and treatments available from the snail. Dr. Jon-Paul Bingham, a neuroscientist from Clarkson University in New York, said, “These snails are nature’s pharmaceutical drug designers. And with Prialt we are really only touching the surface tip of the iceberg of what they can do. We estimate there are 75,000 compounds out there that could have some potential use in all kinds of applications.”

The drug, which has been available in the US for more than a year, was just released in the UK.