- Toxins from 203 venomous animal species from all over the world have been obtained, sequenced and reproduced. These animals ranged from tiny insects to huge lizards.
- This process involves a new integrated working methodology with high-throughput screening, which exponentially accelerates the discovery of new drugs.
The European project VENOMICS, an initiative composed of eight private and public partners, and partly funded by the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7 HEALTH), has been searching for the answer to this question since 2011 and is now ending.
Venomics Project is an ambitious European project which focuses on studying animal venoms to identify potentially therapeutic molecules. It faces its last phase in which 4,000 peptides will be analysed and screened. From those 1-5 molecules of pharmacological interest are expected to be detected. If this search is successful, these molecules could be the basis of new medicines to treat pain, cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, among other diseases.
Through Venomics Project, a team of European researchers has analysed the venoms of 203 different animal species, from which it has selected 5,700 sequences of innovative pharmaceutical interest. Over the next few weeks, the research centre CEA Saclay and the company Zealand Pharma will start a search for peptides of pharmacological potential for pain, diabetes, cancer and autoimmune diseases. Venomics Project, financed by European funds and carried out by leading companies and research centres from Belgium, Denmark, France, Portugal and Spain, will finish with this work line.
Animals’ venoms to improve human health: a new approach with promising results.
After 30 months, 120 poisonous species have been collected, 90 of which have been analysed by transcriptomics and 30 of them by proteomics. 20,000 more sequences are expected to be gained at the end of the project, the greatest database of the existing toxin sequences so far. The discovery of hundreds of peptides and proteins in the venom of only one poisonous species opens multiple opportunities for pharmacological research