Utilisation of compounds from venoms in drug discovery

Book chapter


Trim, C.M., Byrne, L. and Trim, C.M. 2021. Utilisation of compounds from venoms in drug discovery. in: Witty, D.R. (ed.) Progress in medicinal chemistry volume 60 Elsevier.
AuthorsTrim, C.M., Byrne, L. and Trim, C.M.
EditorsWitty, D.R.
Abstract

Difficult drug targets are becoming the normal course of business in drug discovery, sometimes due to large interacting surfaces or only small differences in selectivity regions. For these, a different approach is merited: compounds lying somewhere between the small molecule and the large antibody in terms of many properties including stability, biodistribution and pharmacokinetics. Venoms have evolved over millions of years to be complex mixtures of stable molecules derived from other somatic molecules, the stability comes from the pressure to be ready for delivery at a moment’s notice. Snakes, spiders, scorpions, jellyfish, wasps, fish and even mammals have evolved independent venom systems with complex mixtures in their chemical arsenal. These venom derived molecules have been proven to be useful tools, such as for the development of antihypotensive Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and have also made successful drugs such as Byetta, Integrilin and Echistatin. Only a small percentage of the available chemical space from venoms has been investigated so far and this is growing. In a new era of biological therapeutics,venom peptides present opportunities for larger target engagement surface with greater stability than antibodies or human peptides. There are challenges for oral absorption and target engagement, but there are venom structures that overcome these and thus provide substrate for engineering novel molecules that combine all desired properties. Venom researchers are characterising new venoms, species, and functions all the time, these provide great substrate for solving the challenges presented by todays difficult targets.

KeywordsMacrocycle; Venom; Peptide; Polyamine; Drug discovery
Year2021
Book titleProgress in medicinal chemistry volume 60
PublisherElsevier
Output statusIn press
File
SeriesProgress in medicinal chemistry
Publication process dates
AcceptedDec 2020
Deposited04 Jan 2021
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