Article: Noninvasive Delivery Offers Opportunities For Large And Small Pharma
By Edward Maggio, Ph.D.
Peptide and protein drugs are among the most useful and effective drugs yet discovered, exhibiting potent biological activity, high binding specificity for specific biological targets, and essentially no chemical toxicity with few or no drug interactions. There are more than 140 peptide and protein drugs in current use today, and their number and importance is rapidly increasing. While these new drugs demonstrate high potency and high selectivity, their inherent susceptibility to denaturation, poor transmucosal absorption, and hydrolysis in the gastrointestinal tract make them generally unsuitable for oral administration. Most protein or peptide therapeutics are therefore administered by injection — an inconvenient and expensive delivery mode — and patient acceptance of injectable therapeutics in situations where the medical consequences may not be immediate or life-threatening, and especially in cases where administration must be frequent and chronic, is a serious issue. As a result, while the range of potential clinical indications for therapeutic proteins and peptides is quite broad, the actual number of such therapeutics in general use is small compared to the number of approved chemically synthesized and orally active drugs.
Used with permission from Life Science Leader magazine.