Snakes are fascinating creatures and have been residents of this planet well before
ancient humans dwelled the earth. Venomous snakes have been a figure of fear, and cause notable
mortality throughout the world. The venom constitutes families of proteins and peptides
with various isoforms that make it a cocktail of diverse molecules. These biomolecules are
responsible for the disturbance in fundamental physiological systems of the envenomed victim,
leading to morbidity which can lead to death if left untreated. Researchers have turned
these life-threatening toxins into life-saving therapeutics via technological advancements.
Since the development of captopril, the first drug that was derived from bradykininpotentiating
peptide of Bothrops jararaca, to the disintegrins that have potent activity against
certain types of cancers, snake venom components have shown great potential for the development
of lead compounds for new drugs. There is a continuous development of new drugs
from snake venom for coagulopathy and hemostasis to anti-cancer agents. In this review, we
have focused on different snake venom proteins / peptides derived drugs that are in clinical
use or in developmental stages till to date. Also, some commonly used snake venom derived
diagnostic tools along with the recent updates in this exciting field are discussed.
Keywords: Snake toxin, therapeutic agents, venom diagnostic tools, anti-coagulant agents, drug discovery and development,
peptide drugs, pharmaceutical industry, fibrin sealant, omics technologies.
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