PEGylation of therapeutic proteins

Biotechnol J. 2010 Jan;5(1):113-28. doi: 10.1002/biot.200900218.


Since the first PEGylated product was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1990, PEGylation has been widely used as a post-production modification methodology for improving biomedical efficacy and physicochemical properties of therapeutic proteins. Applicability and safety of this technology have been proven by use of various PEGylated pharmaceuticals for many years. It is expected that PEGylation, as the most established technology for extension of drug residence in the body, will play an important role in the next generation therapeutics, such as peptides, protein nanobodies and scaffolds, which due to their diminished molecular size need half-life extension. This review focuses on several factors important in the production of PEGylated biopharmaceuticals enabling efficient preparation of highly purified PEG-protein conjugates that have to meet stringent regulatory criteria for their use in human therapy. Areas addressed are PEG properties, the specificity of PEGylation reactions, separation and large-scale purification, the availability and analysis of PEG reagents, analysis of PEG-protein conjugates, the consistency of products and processes and approaches used for rapid screening of pharmacokinetic properties of PEG-protein conjugates.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Coated Materials, Biocompatible / chemistry*
  • Drug Carriers / chemistry*
  • Drug Compounding / methods*
  • Drug Compounding / trends*
  • Polyethylene Glycols / chemistry*
  • Proteins / chemistry*
  • Proteins / therapeutic use*


  • Coated Materials, Biocompatible
  • Drug Carriers
  • Proteins
  • Polyethylene Glycols