Peptides are popular, and these days researchers want more and more from them. They want increasingly complex peptides, they want high-quality peptides that conform to cGMP, and they want larger and larger quantities of pure peptides. And they want them fast. Different companies have various takes on where the peptide-synthesis market is, where it is heading, how to meet current demands, and what to do to capitalize on the trends.
Researchers want peptides primarily for drugs. This is true for scientists in government and academic laboratories, as much as it is for those in biotech and pharma labs. Peptide drugs are currently in all phases of clinical trials.
“Peptides are ideal candidates for treating niche diseases,” remarks Rodney Lax, the director of sales and marketing at PolyPeptide Laboratories (www.polypeptide.com). “Of course, they will almost certainly also be recruited in the fights against cancer as well as metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases.”
Peptides have only recently been exploited as drug candidates, since previously, no one thought that they could be effective drugs, according to Anita Ho, Ph.D., president of Anaspec (www.anaspec.com). Synthetic amylin, which has been used for appetite suppression and to treat insulin-dependent diabetes has changed all of that. Remarkably, synthetic amylin is the first drug to be approved by the FDA to lower blood sugar in type 1 diabetics since the discovery of insulin in the early 1920s.
American Peptide Company (www.americanpeptide.com) in collaboration with R&D Bioproducts (www.rndbioproducts.com) has developed a peptide that it says has significant therapeutic potential to be used against ubiquitin-related neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s diseases as well as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
The drug reportedly mimics the binding site of TRAF-6, an E3 ubiquitin ligase, and thus prevents the ubiquitination and degradation of those signaling enzymes usually targeted by the full length TRAF-6.