Medicinal Uses

Cone snails use venom to paralyze their prey. The venom does this by blocking certain channels in the body. Some of these channels are related to how our brains perceive pain. Scientists have been able to separate toxins from the venom mixture, sequence and purify the peptides, and modify the toxins to only work on certain channels related to pain. Drugs are being developed from this venom that can block specific pain that is otherwise untreatable or poorly managed. Current research is focused on finding successful ways to use cone snail venom to help people.

Prialt is a drug currently available that was made from Conus magus and acts on calcium channels. It is mainly used to treat pain experienced by cancer patients.


Exploring Cone Snails and Science