The European Cone Snail Genome Project for Health (CONCO) is a project dedicated to the discovery and development of novel biopharmaceuticals produced by the broad diversity of venomous marine cone snails, and in particular, aims at identifying and characterizing compounds with therapeutic properties produced by the South Pacific cone snail Conus consors.
Picture by T. Parel
The project includes an exhaustive analysis of the transcriptome of the snailís venom gland accompanied by the collection and fractionation of large quantities of venom in view of generating libraries for use in high throughput screening. Said libraries are tested on targets of therapeutic interest, and hits are subsequently deconvoluted and resynthesized for testing and progression in follow-up models.
Amongst other things, the project has identified well over 100 novel biologically-active compounds in the venom of Conus consors, one of which was found to be a highly selective and potent inhibitor of the post-synaptic Nav 1.4 sodium channel. This promising new drug candidate has currently been partnered for use in cosmetics and aesthetic surgery, where it will compete in the $1.3B Botox market, and remains available for use in dystonia and migraine. Please visit our products page for further details.