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Drug Discovery World
Oral Peptide Therapeutics - a holy grail or quixotic quest?
By Dr Paul Shields

Technologies have been honed to overcome many of the challenges of administering peptide therapeutics orally, but obstacles remain before drug developers can fully realise the vast potential.

Proteins and peptides are the building blocks of life and have evolved to become a very promising basis for targeting a range of diseases. Over the past 30 years, and especially the last 10 years, there has been a rapid growth in the development of therapeutic proteins, with a dramatic increase in the number of protein-based drugs on the market.

The cornerstone of protein therapeutics was laid with the regulatory approval of insulin by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1982. As the first commercially-available recombinant protein, insulin soon became the gold-standard therapy for patients suffering from diabetes. Three decades have passed since insulin’s market introduction, and its success has inspired the development of myriad new therapeutic proteins for a wide range of ailments...

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