The Immunogenicity of Polyethylene Glycol: Facts and Fiction
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An increasing number of pegylated therapeutic proteins and drug targeting compounds are being introduced in the clinic. Pegylation is intended to increase circulation time and to reduce an immunogenic response. Recently however a number of publications have appeared claiming that the polyethylene glycol (PEG) moiety of these products in itself may be immunogenic and that the induced anti-PEG antibodies are linked to enhanced blood clearance and reduced efficacy of the products. A critical review of the literature shows that most, if not all assays for anti-PEG antibodies are flawed and lack specificity. Also the biological effects induced by anti-PEG antibodies lack the characteristics of a bona fide antibody reaction. Standardization of the anti-PEG assays and the development of reference sera are urgently needed.
KEY WORDSimmune assays immunogenicity pegylation therapeutic proteins
Accelerated blood clearance
Bovine serum albumin
Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay
European medicines agency
Food and drug administration
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