Venom extraction and research


donated by Herpetofauna


In addition to committing to the conservation of reptiles and amphibians for future generations, the Herpetofauna Foundation believes it is important to contribute to research into the medicinal effects of venom and poison that many of these animals possess. By draining this, it is possible to develop better and stronger painkillers that are less harmful to the body and less addictive. In addition, it is quite possible that many more medicinal applications of these poisons will come to the surface during this research.

There are still many diseases that are not treatable or insufficiently treatable or the medicines cause unpleasant side effects. Therefore, more and more scientists are turning back to the natural world. This has an endless amount of substances available that can serve as raw materials for medicines against cancer, high blood pressure, pain relief, cardiovascular diseases, etc. Research into this 'medicine cabinet' of the plant and animal world is still in its infancy, but in theory can cure or prevent most diseases.

Poisonous plants and animals in particular contain interesting substances with a view to drug development. Unfortunately, it is precisely these plants and animals that are under threat and extinction at a rapid pace. Causes for this are the destruction of their habitat, poaching and fishing and the lack of understanding of what exists for these poisonous animals. Because many people have a fear or aversion to animals such as spiders, scorpions, snakes, frogs and toads, conservation initiatives are delayed or more difficult and we are losing species that could potentially lead to the development of important medicines. The Herpetofauna Foundation hopes for greater awareness of the potential of such animals in, among other things, the healing of cancer, the removal of pain and the prevention of diseases such as Alzheimer and hopes that this can serve as a motivation to save these species from extinction.

The Herpetofauna Foundation collects money for the extraction of and research into different types of poison. Support for this project makes it possible to research the medicinal potential of various poisons and thus also contributes to the conservation of various (toxic) animal species.

Examples of poison, its work and the animal derived:

  • Exenatide (active against type 2 diabetes), obtained from the venom of the Gila monster (Heloderma suspectum).
  • Captopril (against high blood pressure), obtained from the venom of lancehead snakes (Bothrops sp).
  • Ara/c (medicine against leukemia) obtained from different sponge species.
  • Cognetix (pain reliever, remedy for MS, epilepsy), obtained from the cone snail (Conidae).
  • ABT 594 (medicine for pain), obtained from South American poison frogs (Dendrobatidae).
  • Viprinex (anti-coagulant), obtained from the venom of the Malayan pit viper (Calloselasma rhodostoma).
  • Escozul (experimental drug for the treatment of brain tumors), obtained from the venom of the Cuban blue scorpion (Rhopalurus junceus).