Nature Chemistry Publication: Materials and methods for delivery of biological drugs

A Nature Chemistry review on Materials and methods for delivery of biological drugs by group leader Alexander Zelikin, has just been published.

Biological drugs generated via recombinant techniques are uniquely positioned due to their high potency and high selectivity of action. The major drawback of this class of therapeutics, however, is their poor stability upon oral administration and during subsequent circulation. As a result, biological drugs have very low bioavailability and short therapeutic half-lives. Fortunately, tools of chemistry and biotechnology have been developed into an elaborate arsenal, which can be applied to improve the pharmacokinetics of biological drugs. Depot-type release systems are available to achieve sustained release of drugs over time. Conjugation to synthetic or biological polymers affords long circulating formulations. Administration of biological drugs through non-parenteral routes shows excellent performance and the first products have reached the market. This Review presents the main accomplishments in this field and illustrates the materials and methods behind existing and upcoming successful formulations and delivery strategies for biological drugs.

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