Discovering new pain drugs in animal venoms



One in five Australians live with chronic pain, but relief could come from the unlikeliest of places: animal venoms.

For about 65 per cent of people living with pain—including children, teenagers and adults—pain has a big impact on their day-to-day lives. It also costs the Australian economy more than $34 billion per year.

The IMB Centre for Pain Research is mining the venom of spiders, scorpions and cone snails for previously unknown molecules that can switch pain on or off.

Molecules that relieve pain have potential to become new painkilling drugs, and molecules that cause pain help our researchers to understand how we experience pain.

Our researchers focus on pain that is difficult to manage, such as neuropathic, diabetic, burn, chemotherapy and cancer pain.

Current painkillers do not always work well in managing peoples’ pain, and they can cause tolerance, addiction and respiratory challenges.

In partnership with pain specialists, we are increasing understanding of how we experience pain, and we are developing new drugs to relieve pain.

Your support could help us accelerate our discoveries from the lab to the clinic and expand our research to target more types of pain.


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