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Acid-sensing ion channel-1 (ASIC1); ASIC2

Cell culture and mouse studies suggest snake venom-derived peptides that antagonize ASIC1 and ASIC2 could be useful for treating pain. In cell culture, mambalgins, a class of peptides isolated from black mamba venom, inhibited ASIC1 and ASIC2 signaling, whereas vehicle did not. In mice, mambalgin injection decreased response to painful stimuli with an effect comparable to that of morphine. Mambalgin-treated mice developed tolerance more slowly than morphine-treated mice and did not develop respiratory distress. Next steps include characterization of mambalgin peptides in other mouse models of pain.
Theralpha S.A.S.'s THA904, a formulation of mambalgin, is in preclinical development to treat pain (see Black mamba takes away pain, page 5).

SciBX 5(41); doi:10.1038/scibx.2012.1091
Published online Oct. 18, 2012

Patented; licensed to Theralpha

Diochot, S. et al. Nature; published online Oct. 3, 2012;
Contact: Anne Baron, Institute of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, Valbonne, France

Contact: Eric Lingueglia, same affiliation as above