In recent years, peptides have gained increasing attention as therapeutic drugs. More than 60 peptide drugs are already on the market, benefiting patients, and hundreds of novel therapeutic peptides are in preclinical and clinical development. A key factor in this success is the potency and specificity of the peptide. We believe that the development of future peptide medications will continue to build on the strengths of natural peptides and apply traditional rational design to improve their weaknesses, such as their chemical and physical properties.
Peptides have gained widespread use in medicine and biotechnology over the past decade, and research into therapeutic peptides is currently revived for commercial reasons. For example, Abbott's peptide drug Lupron™ for prostate cancer, among others, had global sales of more than $2.3 billion in 2011. Currently, there are more than 60 drugs on the market for peptides approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and this number is expected to grow significantly. There are currently about 140 peptide drugs in clinical trials, and more than 500 therapeutic peptides are in clinical trials. preclinical development stage.
The main disease areas currently driving the therapeutic use of peptides are metabolic diseases and oncology. The former is characterized by a growing prevalence of obesity and T2DM, and the latter is characterized by increased mortality, the need for chemotherapy replacement, and supportive cancer care. The application of peptide therapy in diabetes and obesity treatment may be the reason why North America currently holds the largest share of the peptide drug market, while the Asian market is expected to have the largest growth. The pharmaceutical industry's development of rare disease and orphan drugs also extends to peptides, with marketed examples in this area including the GLP-2 receptor 2 agonist teduglutide for the treatment of short bowel syndrome and the teduglutide for the treatment of Cushing's syndrome. The somatostatin receptor agonist pasireotide.
Currently, most peptide drugs are administered parenterally, and approximately 75% are administered in the form of injections. However, alternative forms of administration are gaining increasing attention, including oral, intranasal and transdermal routes of administration, depending on the respective technological developments.
The use of alternative forms of administration could also lead to greater use of peptide therapeutics in other disease areas, such as inflammation, where topical administration of peptides could be the basis for highly effective novel treatments. Although beyond the scope of this article, peptides are often excellent biomarkers and thus can also be used for diagnostic purposes. Finally, peptides have also been explored as vaccines.