Antiarrhythmic Peptide from Venom of Spider Grammostola Spatulata


This invention speaks of a toxin that can block stretch activated in channels with sub nM affinity in several preparations including frog oocytes and chick heart. It can also block the Ca+2 uptake caused by hypotonic stress in GH3 and probably other cells. The toxin is probably a protein of about 30kD molecular weight. The toxin may be useful in analyzing the effect of mechanical distortion on cells and tissue and perhaps as a therapeutic agent to suppress stretch induced cardiac arrhythmias and calcium overload occurring during pathological modification of osmotic homeostasis. The isolated peptide may have application in the treatment of seizures, strokes, a variety of neurological disorders and osteoporosis. The respective markets are significant enough to justify further development of the application of this peptide. Epilepsy: Approximately 2.5 million people in the United States have some form of epilepsy and an estimated 125,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. Epilepsy is just one of the 600 neurological disorders that provide the source for increased medical research and development. The combined market size for drugs related to the treatment of neurological disorders is estimated to be in the area of $40 to $60 billion a year. Stroke: Stroke is the nation’s third leading cause of death, killing nearly 160,000 Americans every year. Every year, approximately 730,000 Americans have a new or recurrent stroke. Stroke is the single largest cause of neurological crippling in the United States every year. Furthermore, about one third of all stroke survivors will have another stroke within five years. Stroke cost the United States $30 billion annually. Direct cost such as physicians, hospitals, and rehabilitation add up to $17 billion, while indirect costs such as loss of productivity total $13 billion. The average cost per patient for the first 90 days of post-stroke treatment is $15,000, although 10 percent of the cases exceed $35,000. Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis is a major public health treat for more than 28 million Americans; 80 percent of whom are women. One in two women and one in eight men over the age of 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime. The estimated national direct expenditure (hospitals and nursing homes) for osteoporotic and related fractures was $13.8 billion in 1995 ($38 million each day) and the cost is rising.

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