What are toxins?

As is well-known, toxins occur in a large number of animal species. Among the long list of toxins, we would like to mention apamin, the toxin of the bee, and conotoxin, a toxin originated in the cone snail, a sea snail.

Some of the sea snail venoms (cone snail) contain a analgetic toxin, i.e. the toxin derived of the conus magus species. This toxin is 1000times stronger than morphine in its analgetic action. Toxins consists of a mixture of different peptides. Each of these single peptides attacks special neuritic channels or receptors.

These toxins are the focus of pharmaceutical R&D and have become more and more important in this sector to develop drugs against diseases like Alzheimer, Parkinson or Epilepsy. Moreover, toxins are already used in pain treatment therapy.