UCLA researchers have developed polymers that stabilize proteins for industrial or therapeutic use more effectively than existing methods. The polymers are easily broken down by the body, so they can be used to deliver drugs in patients without causing an immune response or reducing the drug’s activity.
A UCLA team has developed a family of polymers that effectively stabilize industrial enzymes, therapeutic biologics, and vaccines against thermal and mechanical stress while improving their in vivo pharmacokinetic properties. The technology is based on a novel series of polymers that incorporate trehalose as a side chain. Trehalose is a disaccharide that is widely used by a variety of organisms to stabilize against environmental stressors such as a high temperatures, or dessication. Trehalose monomers have been used previously in formulations but are not optimal. The PolyProtek polymers are degradable, allowing safe and effective clearance in vivo.
One major application is in drug delivery of therapeutic proteins and vaccines. PolyProtek provides significant advantages over the standard polyethylene glycol (PEG) in degradability and lack of immunogenicity, while still maintaining activity. Use of this polymer also eliminates the need for cold-storage supply chains for biologics and vaccines. The polymers have been validated in vivo, and initial PK and toxicology studies have been completed.
Additionally, PolyProtek has significant value in the stabilization of enzymes against thermal and mechanical stress for industrial processes. Degradable polymers avoid unwanted environmental buildup while still enabling high stabilization of enzymes against thermal and mechanical stress.
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