A compound that can block pain and has the potential to be an opioid alternative comes from an unlikely source – sea snails. That’s right, the venom found in sea snails has been found to provide long-lasting pain relief to users that’s different than how opioid’s block pain.

The compound is called RgIA, which is a peptide that is found in a small snail species with a cone-shaped shell, called Conus regius, which is found in the Caribbean Sea.

“Nature has evolved molecules that are extremely sophisticated, and can have unexpected applications,” says Baldomero Olivera, a biologist from the University of Utah.

“We were interested in using venoms to understand different pathways in the nervous system.”

It’s estimated that 90 people die from opioid overdoses every day in America. If this compound proves to be a viable long-term option for treating pain, it could help save countless lives.

Learn more about RgIA and how it can help people by clicking here.

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