Novel Drug leads from amphibian venom Uganda

Amphibian venom contains a complex cocktail of compounds that are directly applicable for novel drug discovery and represent a natural resource for the discovery of new therapies.  Research has shown that it is possible to turn a venom toxin into a drug and many pharmaceutical companies have venom-based drug discovery programs, with success stories from discovery to market (REF). gHealth Research at UCD is working in collaboration with Dr. David Orr and Dr. Mei Zhou from Queen’s University Belfast and Dr. Behangana from Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, to identify and purify new bioactive compounds from within the venom of East African amphibians.  Currently, Drs. Chris Watson and Gordon Cooke from gHealth Research in UCD are focused on the validation of novel anti-microbial peptides derived from venom that was non-invasively extracted from East African rift valley frogs.  These studies involve the use of human clinical isolates of opportunistic pathogens from a range of diseases including cystic fibrosis clinical isolates.

East African frogs from the rift valley are a natural source of novel therapeutic peptides derived non-invasively from secreted venom. gHealth Research at UCD are collaborating with colleagues from Queen’s University Belfast and Makerere University Uganda to identify new drug leads for both communicable and non communicable diseases. Image Courtesy: Dominik Hofer