More than 80 peptide medications are on the global market, making up a market worth more than 20 billion U.S. dollars, and more than 150 clinical trials are underway. International scientists and pharmaceutical companies attach great importance to the future potential of this segment. The value of the global peptide drug market reached 22 billion U.S. dollars in 2015, accounting for about 2% of the total pharmaceutical market, maintaining a growth rate of about 12%, and reaching 25.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2018. Peptide medications have a market value of above US$1 billion. Several large varieties of peptide drugs are on the market, such as insulin, dulaglutide, albiglutide, semaglutide teriparatide, and abaloparatide, growth hormone, atrial natriuretic peptide, Etelcalcetide, etc. Peptide drugs may soon replace more existing drugs and become one of the critical directions of new drug research and development of various pharmaceutical companies. Peptide medications are one of the hot spots in new drug research in the post-genomic era.
1. Multifunctional peptide drugs: Multifunctional peptides are the coupling of multiple functional parts of peptides. They can perform numerous functions, and at the same time, improve the effectiveness of indications and druggability. Compared with the single peptides, the simultaneous activation of different signal transduction mechanisms maximizes the benefits of biological activity, minimizes side effects, and provides a more balanced action characteristic of preclinical pharmacokinetics. The clinical trials of its first new dual-functional peptide drug have been carried out in the United States.
2. Peptide-drug coupling drug: Peptide-drug coupling drug is a new type of coupling drug that couples cell-targeted peptides and drug molecules to enhance the targeting of drugs, improve effectiveness and reduce adverse reactions. Different from antibody-drug conjugate drugs, these peptide medications target tumor cells through a peptide chain of about ten amino acids, so they will not cause an immune response. Solid-phase synthesis can be used for large-scale preparation. It can be eliminated quickly by kidneys and lower bone marrow and liver toxicity. This carrier does not contain infectious substances unlike bacteriophages, adenoviruses, or other microorganisms dedicated to transporting drugs.
3. Personalized peptide vaccines: The tumor cells and normal cells are as vastly different as possible, but the mutation of tumor cells causes the most fundamental difference. Many tumor cells have various mutations, and some modifications are presented to the surface of tumor cells through MHC and then explicitly recognized by the TCR of T cells. Thereby tumor cells are directly killed. Such mutant peptide fragments are called "neoantigen."