A typical visit to your doctor's office to treat pain or an infection involves a brief examination and is usually followed by a prescription of meds to alleviate your condition. In approximately a decade, doctors could be prescribing a new venom treatment from sea creatures that could revolutionize the biotechnology industry. Kineta, a Seattle-based biotech company, has experimented with toxins found in sea anemones and core snails as a possible treatment for autoimmune diseases, reports Komonews.com. The poisonous creatures that can kill you in an instant may one day save your life.

Sea Anemone Venom

The vibrantly colored sea anemone contains a synthetic compound called ShK-186 that comes from the sea creature's toxins, which was tested as a cure for autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, psoriatic arthritis, and lupus, says Komonews.com. ShK-186 has been linked to blocking the activity of a protein that can agitate inflammation and therefore reduce pain for sufferers of arthritis and even obesity. The compound can thus be used to formulate various drugs for treating chronic diseases.


Findings published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences unveil that ShK-186 can also be used to combat obesity. Its anti-inflammatory properties travel through the potassium channel, helping to regulate cellular processes, such as body weight and the basal metabolic rate (BMR). According to Komonews.com, the natural compound induces weight loss by enhancing an individual's BMR.

Autoimmune Diseases And Sea Anemone Venom

Chronic illnesses like multiple sclerosis, psoriatic arthritis, and lupus may require patients to take steroids or methotrexate — a prescription drug used to treat severe conditions that cannot be treated with other meds, says Medline Plus. Toxins from sea creatures, however, can provide an equally effective treatment without the life-threatening side effects associated with methotrexate. While methotrexate is meant to provide relief for painful diseases, the medication can do more harm than good for a person's immune system. Medline Plus says that the drug can decrease the activity of your immune system and even put you at risk of developing a series of infections.

On the other hand, the toxins of a sea anemone can inhibit the inflammatory process of these severe illnesses while still regulating the patient's immune system as it attacks the cell causing tissue damage — without disrupting any cellular processes.

Cone Snail Venom

The poisonous cone snails can also play a vital role in saving your life. Kineta is testing the pain-relieving effects of the Rg1a peptide found in this creature. If prescribed this toxin, sufferers of inflammatory diseases dodge side effects like altered cognition or respiratory problems, which are often associated with the use of narcotics, says Komonews.com. Kineta reports the toxin's ability to prevent pain signals from being transmitted to the brain without directly impacting it; as such, it can be a safe alternative that doesn't get patients addicted.

The future of the biotech industry could evolve within the next decade, providing all-natural alternative therapies that can treat autoimmune diseases without the debilitating side effects of today's current prescription drugs. "We think the natural route is still underexplored, and there are lots of opportunities for new drugs that are very effective and potent," said Dr. Snawn Iadonato, Kineta's chief scientific officer.

To learn more ways in which venom from creatures can heal you, read some testimonies on National Geographic.