As the world looks to nature to find cures for some of the world’s most debilitating diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and strokes, an Israeli company – Shulov Institute for Sciences Ltd (SIS) – has unlocked the chemicals found in deadly viper venom to help treat arthritis.
About 2.1 million Americans suffer from rheumatoid arthritis (about 0.5 to 1 percent of the U.S. adult population), according to the National Institutes of Health. More than 70 percent of them are women, according to the American College of Rheumatology.
According to Dr. Naftali Primor, R&D manager for SIS, snakes can help relieve the pain of arthritis sufferers. There are 4000 species of snakes, 400 venomous ones in the world, says Primor, a snake specialist and biochemist. Primor is attempting to turn around the bad press on snakes, and help them get recognition for the medical prominence they deserve.
There is a good reason why the snake is a symbol for the medical profession in America, Primor explains, tracing the history of the healing properties of snakes back to the ancient Greeks.
SIS was founded in 1986 by the late Prof. Aharon Shulov of the Hebrew University and Mr. Aviv Marx. The company currently commercializes a life saving antiserum to treat yellow scorpion stings, which is approved for use by the Israeli Ministry of Health and is marketed to hospitals. A topical analgesic reliever based on snake venom is expected to be on the shelves within 5 years.
The scientific team that Primor heads at SIS has identified the chemicals in the snake venom of cobras, vipers and rattlers. The company is using this knowledge to make a potent analgesic against chronic pain such as arthritis, and secondary pain caused by other diseases such as cancer. Primor suspects that the venom has therapeutic properties also, but more studies need to be done.
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Sub-editorArthritis :: Relieving the pain of arthritis with snake venom
by Sub-editor ( Author at Spirit India )
Posted on March 21st, 2006 at 2:08 am.
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