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Tarantula venom-based MD therapy to be advanced by UB scientists' biotech company
Date:12/29/2009

dminister the drug. The peptide and its mirror image are covered by U.S. patents obtained by UB's Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach (STOR), and licensed to Rose Pharmaceuticals. Sachs noted that there are no other drugs known to act specifically on mechanosensitive ion channels, the target of GsMTx4.

"Unlike most drugs, GsMTx4 seems to generate only positive side effects," said Sachs. "In addition to its effectiveness in MD, it inhibits atrial fibrillation, a cardiac arrhythmia that affects 2 million Americans, and for which there currently is no reliable drug therapy.

"In a second application, research groups in Korea and UC San Francisco have shown that GsMTx4 can inhibit mechanically induced pain (pain originating in nerve fibers)," he said. "This therapy is at least half as effective as morphine, but does not act on the brain, only at the site of increased sensitivity." Mark Kristal, PhD, UB professor of psychology, has been collaborating on the pain testing.

GsMTx4 appears to have additional applications. Robert Plunkett, MD., UB associate professor of neurosurgery, has shown that the peptide stimulates neuronal growth, and may be useful for the treatment of Parkinson's disease.


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Contact: Lois Baker
ljbaker@buffalo.edu
716-645-4606
University at Buffalo
Source:Eurekalert

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