Identification of the receptor for Lionfish venom


Published: 11Oct2019

Invention 2019-098

Identification of the receptor for Lionfish venom


The receptor through which Lionfish venom excites nociceptors has been identified at McGill University.


Market Need

With no treatment or antidote for lionfish venom, this marine fish found in the Caribbean and Northwestern Atlantic poses a growing health problem due to the increased population and frequency of painful stings. Currently, the only available treatment for pain is to denature the venom by submerging the affected area in hot water, but some victims may still experience pain for weeks. While a specialized peripheral sensory neuron called nociceptors has been identified as the venom’s cellular target, no therapies are available.


Technology Summary

This technology is the identification of the receptor through which the venom excites nociceptor pain signaling. Interestingly, there are selective blockers of this receptor currently in clinical trials for a non-related use. To continue work on this receptor, collaboration is being pursued with the owner of the proprietary small molecule inhibitors of the Lionfish venom receptor for research contract. With future study, these compounds could offer the rapid development of a treatment for patients stung by the lionfish.



  • Receptor for the venom is identified
  • Selective blockers of this receptor are in clinical trials for non-related uses


Patent Status

Background IP for Research Opportunity


Contact Information

Sylvie Toulmond
Innovation and Partnerships
sylvie.toulmond [at]
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