For most, it’s never a good day when you get stung by a flying insect. Especially a wasp, whose potent venom can have lasting effects after the initial sting.
In a rare twist of fate though, scientists have discovered that the venom of a Polybia paulista, better known as a Brazilian Wasp, can actually attack cancer cells and kill them. The best part of this venom, is it simultaneously leaves healthy cells alone.
How does this all work? Well, healthy human cells have a very strong building block of lipids (fats) in the inner cell membrane, making them immune to most attacks. However, cancer cells are mutated distortions of normal cells, leaving certain weak points on the outside.
The venom from the Brazilian Wasp actually takes advantage of these areas in the cancer-cell membrane and targets its attacks there. This creates holes in the cancer cells, eventually causing them to leak proteins they need to survive. Just like that, no more cancer cells.
As Paul Beales, a co-author of this study, puts it: “Cancer therapies that attack the lipid composition of the cell membrane would be an entirely new class of anticancer drugs.” No kidding!
Better yet, this new technology would be used in tandem with existing therapies to go after deadly cancer cells from multiple directions. So not only does this approach kill the cancer cells, it decreases the likelihood that the cancer will return.
The codename for the exact cancer-targeting toxin is called MP1 (Polybia-MP1), and should start making its way into commercial and government biotech labs across the country shortly for further research.
I have added this codename and other similar terms into my social media collective intelligence system – which I use for my Biotech Intel Trader service. I’ll continue monitoring it and will advise if we start to see an uptick in this technology’s momentum across publicly traded companies.
In the past we have been able to get a jump-start on the rest of the market by targeting and tracking disruptive technology similar to this, all through social media channels that I monitor with my system.
Editor, Biotech Intel Trader