Peptides and Protein Drug Delivery

Peptides and proteins have great potential as therapeutics. Peptides can be designed to target a broad range of molecules, giving them almost limitless possibilities in fields such as oncology, immunology, infectious disease and endocrinology. While the peptide and protein therapeutic market has developed significantly in the past decades, delivery has limited their use. Although oral delivery is preferred, most are currently delivered intravenously or subcutaneously due to degradation and limited absorption in the gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, absorption enhancers, enzyme inhibitors, carrier systems and stability enhancers are being studied to facilitate oral peptide delivery. Additionally, transdermal peptide delivery avoids the issues of the gastrointestinal tract, but also faces absorption limitations. Due to proteases, opsonization and agglutination, free peptides are not systemically stable without modifications.

Currently, the market for peptide and protein drugs is estimated to be greater than US$40 billion/year, or 10% of the pharmaceutical market. This market is growing much faster than that of small molecules, and will make up an even larger proportion of the market in the future. At present there are over 100 approved peptide-based therapeutic drugs on the market, with the majority being smaller than 20 amino acids. Compared with the typical small-molecule drugs that currently make up the majority of the pharmaceutical market, peptides and proteins can be highly selective as they have multiple points of contact with their target. Increased selectivity may also result in decreased side effects and toxicity.

Major drugs driving growth of the overall smart drug delivery market include Angiomax, Copaxone, Forteo, Sandostatin, Velcade, Victoza and Zoladex.

  • Peptide Vector for Biologics Brain Delivery
  • Protein Formulation & Aggregation
  • Protein therapeutics
  • Polymers for delivery of proteins
  • Peptide therapeutics
  • Cell-penetrating and cell-targeting

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