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Pharm Res. 1996 Dec;13(12):1760-4. doi: 10.1023/a:1016008419367.

Oral controlled release technology for peptides: status and future prospects.

Pharmaceutical research

J A Fix


  1. Alza Corporation, Palo Alto, California 94303, USA.

PMID: 8987068 DOI: 10.1023/a:1016008419367


In spite of significant efforts in academic and commercial laboratories, major breakthroughs in oral peptide and protein formulation have not been achieved. The major barriers to developing oral formulations for peptides and proteins include poor intrinsic permeability, lumenal and cellular enzymatic degradation, rapid clearance, and chemical and conformational stability. Pharmaceutical approaches to address these barriers, which have been successful with traditional, small, organic drug molecules, have not readily translated into effective peptide and protein formulations. The success achieved by Sandoz with cyclosporin formulations remains one clear example of what can be achieved, although it is likely that effective oral formulations for peptides and proteins will remain highly compound specific. Although the challenges are significant, the potential therapeutic benefit remains high, particularly with the increasing identification of potential peptide and protein drug candidates emerging from the biotechnology arena. Successful formulations will most likely require a systematic and careful merger of formulation and design delivery systems which maximize the potential for absorption across the epithelial cell layer.


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