In addition to peptide vaccines, peptide medications have relatively small immunogenicity, smaller doses, and higher unit activity compared with protein macromolecular drugs. Peptide drugs are easy to synthesize, modify, and optimize, with high product purity and controllable quality. The medicinal value can be determined quickly.
1. Peptide vaccine: Peptide vaccine is a vaccine prepared by chemical peptide synthesis technology according to the known or predicted amino acid sequence of a certain epitope in the pathogen's antigen gene. Peptide vaccines among peptide medications are currently an important research direction of vaccine, and peptide vaccines for HIV and hepatitis C virus have been developed. Traditional vaccines are generally prepared in two ways. One is an attenuated vaccine that can induce immunity but does not cause diseases, such as a vaccine or BCG vaccine for yellow fever, polio, and measles; the other is an inactivated vaccine, such as Bordetella pertussis, rabies virus, typhoid bacillus.
2. Anti-tumor peptides: Peptide medications have attracted attention in developing anti-tumor drugs due to their targeting, safety, and specificity. Different peptide drugs have many different mechanisms of action. It can inhibit tumor cell proliferation and promote the apoptosis of tumor cells to achieve direct anti-tumor effects. It can also achieve indirect anti-tumor effects by enhancing and stimulating the body's immune response to tumor cells and inhibiting tumor angiogenesis. Moreover, the diversity and specificity of its mechanism of action can also realize the modification and fusion of peptides and the high-efficiency, targeted, and specific anti-tumor effect of peptides.
3. Peptide-oriented drugs: This type of peptide medications fuse peptides with the binding ability with cytotoxins or cytokines and direct them to the diseased region to exert a therapeutic effect while reducing toxic and side effects. Many toxins and cytokines are known to have strong toxicity for tumor cells, but they can also damage normal cells when used in humans for a long time or in large amounts. The fusion of peptides that can specifically bind to tumor cells with these active factors can specifically concentrate these active factors on the tumor site, greatly reducing the concentration of toxins and cytokines and their side effects.
Of course, the types of common peptide drugs are more than the above. Currently, peptide drugs extracted from animal tissues will be phased out gradually. Chemical peptide synthesis and gene recombination will become complementary methods of producing peptide drugs for a long time. With the rapid development of chemical peptide synthesis drugs, the preparation of peptide drugs by gene recombination has also attracted attention in the industry. Compared with chemical peptide synthesis, gene recombination is more suitable for preparing long peptides. With the advancement of technology, the cost of producing peptide drugs by gene recombination is also constantly decreasing.