Long Acting Injections and Implants

Part of the series Advances in Delivery Science and Technology pp 295-313


Protein PEGylation

  • Francesco M. VeroneseAffiliated withDepartment of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Padua
  • , Gianfranco PasutAffiliated withDepartment of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Padua Email author 

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The covalent linking of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) has become the leading approach to improving the therapeutic efficacy of proteins. This highly hydrophilic synthetic polymer possesses unique properties that allowed PEG to emerge as the best candidate for protein modification. Beside the proven success of PEG conjugates already on the market, it should be noted that other derivatives are presently under advanced clinical trials. The increased half-life of the conjugates is probably the main reason for performing PEGylation. In addition, the possibility to greatly reduce the immunogenicity of a given protein is also a strong and determinant incentive. This last advantage offers the possibility to safely use, in the clinic, heterologous proteins that otherwise might trigger dramatic immunogenic responses or even anaphylactic reactions. This chapter introduces the reader to PEGylation strategies showing in detail its potential and the achievements obtained in the recent years. Furthermore, the future perspectives of the technique are also discussed.