Development of new drugs represents one of the furthermost challenging activities of the pharmaceutical industry. Since the middle of the 20th century, a growing number of potential therapeutic agents have been extracted and isolated from plant, animal and microorganism toxins. Out of them, snake venoms comprise a combination of biological active components that are involved not only in envenomation pathophysiology but also in the development of new drugs to treat many diseases.
Snakes were considered the god of medicine in the ancient Greek world and the symbol of the snake is still used nowadays for medicine and pharmacy. In Ayurveda, cobra venom was used to treat joint pain, inflammation, and arthritis. For these reasons, many online website offer snake venom for sale online.
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It is interesting to note that there are few toxin-based drugs that are presently being approved for phase III clinical trials and are at various stages of development with promising horizons of application in the US. Toxins or toxin-designed drugs also have found their usefulness as diagnostic tools.
It may be concluded that only a small fraction of snake venom components have been identified, and continued technical improvements in the drug discovery field are likely to uncover many new therapeutic leads from snake venoms.