Maciej Miliński, Piotr Najgebauer, Radosław Balwierz, Urszula Skotnicka-Graca, Monika Anna Staś

Are peptide drugs the future of medicine?

To date, approximately 80 peptide drugs have been used practically. More than 150 peptides are in clinical development, and 400–600 peptides have been preclinically studied. Peptides act as hormones, growth factors, neurotransmitters, ion channel ligands, or anti-infective agents, therefore peptides are excellent candidates for drug discovery to complement medical treatment unmet by other types of medicines. For example, interfering peptides (IPs) have a high potential for modulation of protein-protein interaction (PPIs). Peptide drugs are used for bacterial and viral infections, problems with the circulatory system, diabetes, osteoporosis, appetite and hormone regulation, cancer, and many others. The most successful peptide drug is insulin, however, since 2000 there have been 33 new, noninsulin peptide drugs approved, for example, liraglutide, teriparatide, and ziconotide. Characteristics for peptides are high affinity and specificity to target, however, there is still room for development in peptide delivery and optimization of their properties like membrane permeability and in vivo stability. Natural peptides are a great source of inspiration for peptide drugs, such as animal toxins or venoms and bacteria or fungi metabolites. Cyclization, incorporation of nonstandard amino acid residues, or PEGylation are only a few strategies to improve peptides’ half-life and solubility. With current technology developments, the future growth of the peptide field is predicted. The article has presented a history of therapeutic peptides treatment, which started with mimicking natural hormones. The advantages over small drugs and antibodies are described, as well as challenges faced by scientists in peptide production and applications which need to be addressed for them to reach their full potential. There are several strategies developed to optimize peptides, which are concisely discussed. The use of insulin is also shown in a broader aspect; however other examples of peptide drugs are also mentioned. We also highlighted the usage of peptide drugs in cancer therapy.

Keywords: peptide drugs, peptides, insulin.

© Farm Pol, 2022, 78 (6): 308–316

Are peptide drugs the future of medicine?

497.16 kB | 30 sierpnia 2022