Novel delivery technologies for protein and peptide therapeutics

Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2006 Aug;7(4):261-76. doi: 10.2174/138920106777950852.


The protein and peptide therapeutics have become an important class of drugs due to advancement in molecular biology and recombinant technology. There are more than 100 biopharmaceutical products approved and generating revenue of more than 56 billion US dollars. A safe, effective and patient friendly delivery of these agents is the key to commercial success. Currently, most of therapeutic proteins are administered by the parenteral route which has many drawbacks. Various delivery strategies and specialized companies have evolved over the past few years to improve delivery of proteins and peptides. Polymeric depot and PEGylation technologies have overcome some of the issues associated with parenteral delivery. A considerable research has been focused on non-invasive routes such as pulmonary, per oral and transdermal for delivery of proteins and peptides, in order to increase patient compliance yet their delivery via non-invasive routes remains challenge due to their poor absorption and enzymatic instability. Pulmonary route has shown some success evidenced by recent FDA approval of inhalable insulin. Development of an oral dosage form for protein therapeutics is still the most desirable one but with greater challenge. This review presents the issues of delivery of proteins and peptides, current and potential formulation technologies to improve delivery and current market trends.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Aerosols
  • Animals
  • Dosage Forms
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Parenteral
  • Peptides / administration & dosage*
  • Peptides / therapeutic use*
  • Proteins / administration & dosage*
  • Proteins / therapeutic use*


  • Aerosols
  • Dosage Forms
  • Peptides
  • Proteins