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Lizard drugs

A diabetes drug derived from a poisonous lizard has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, its developers, Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly, said yesterday.

The drug, called Byetta, will be the first in a new class of drugs to reach the market for Type 2 diabetes, the form that usually occurs in adults. . . .

Byetta is a synthetic version of a peptide, or small protein, found in what has been variously described as the saliva or the venom of the Gila monster, a poisonous lizard that lives in the Southwest and Mexico.


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» Friday Ark from Modulator
Cats, Dogs, Spiders and ? every Friday. I'll post links to sites that have Friday (plus or minus a few days) photos of their chosen animals as I see them (photoshops at my discretion and humans only in supporting roles). Leave a comment or trackback to... [Read More]

» The next time my doctor needs to tweak my diabetes drug regimen.... from Dark Bilious Vapors
I'm going to tell him I've always wanted to take an extract of Gila Monster. [Read More]


There are many drugs that are derived from poison. For instance, warfarin, the active ingredient in Coumadin, a blood thinner, is actually a very low dose of rat poison.

What you have to say about the lizard is all well and good, but the real question is why have you stopped linking to my blog? Have things gotten that bad because I don't really feel like a lot of the other links are that good.

Most all medicines can be poisonous if used in the wrong way; some medicines are routinely used as poisons. But that's not the point.

The point is that this drug is derived from a LIZARD. Lizards are great.

Asthma: ALL my links are great! :) Thanks for pointing out your missing blog. It must have gotten dropped the last time I reshuffled my link categories (something I need to do again soon). Anyway, your link is back!

Rats don't produce warfarin. I think it's probably a derivative of something microbes make, because it's based on a poison from clover that was being stored improperly for cattle feed. Lots of natural venoms operate by locking onto the ion channels of nerve or other cells, and lots of anesthetics (e.g. novacaine) work the same way, but I'm blanking in trying to think of drug derived from a venom. Oh yeah. Peptides make lousy drugs is why, because generally you can't make pills from them and have to inject them. But probably vast numbers of drug were discovered if not designed by inference from the action of biological venoms. Hey! Why am I doing all the scientific heavy lifting here! This ain't my blog!