This is a snippet of the Use of Peptides in the Therapeutics Market White Paper.
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A peptide is a class of organic molecules found throughout all of life having various functions in biological processes. A peptide molecule is comprised of multiple amino acids, ranging from 2-50, linked together by what is known as a peptide bond. While not universally agreed upon, once a growing peptide chain consists of 50 or more amino acids it is then considered a protein. With 20 naturally occurring amino acids and an endless number of customized synthetic amino acids, the available combination possibilities and peptide lengths make these molecules so versatile in their functionalities.
Peptides have been well studied ever since the developed theory and discovery in the early 1900’s with the research of Emil Fischer. In the 1920’s the first isolation and commercialization of animal derived insulin, a 51 amino acid polypeptide, peptide drugs have greatly reshaped
our modern pharmaceutical industry. Not until 90 years later was the animal derived insulin replaced with a human recombinant substitute. With an increased knowledge of peptide chemistry, the efficacy and potency of insulin has since improved through subtle substitutions and
modifications to the amino acids found in the peptide chains. Insulin provides us just one example showcasing the flexibility and customizability of a peptide when used as an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API).
Peptides since are being increasingly used as potential API due to their relative ease of synthesis, general low toxicity, and ease of availability. As per the International Journal of Current Pharmaceutical Research, approximately 60 peptide-based drugs have been approved by the FDA, 140 peptide-based drugs are currently in clinical trials and another 500 peptides are in development.
Peptide therapeutics are being examined in various disease categories such as cancer, autoimmune, neurological and endocrine disorders with cancer being the leading drive in this field due to the rise in mortality and need for chemotherapy replacement. Peptides can be
utilized in a number of different ways in treating cancer. This includes using peptides directly as drugs, tumor targeting agents that carry cytotoxic drugs and radionuclides (targeted chemotherapy and radiation therapy), hormones, and vaccines…