One bite of a King Cobra could kill a human, but that fatal venom could also hold the key to relieving chronic pain and pain during surgery. Professor Manjunatha Kini of the National University of Singapore, who is developing the compound, says that it could be 20 to 200 times more potent than morphine. Like the pufferfish toxin, though, King Cobra poison lacks the addictive properties of that painkiller and others like it currently on the market. Within a year, Kini hopes to test the drug in patients. In recent animal tests, mice receiving the agent were able to withstand almost twice the thermal pain of animals that did not take the compound.