The field of aptamer research is growing rapidly, with ∼230 papers using the word 'aptamer' published from January to June 2010. These reports cover many different applications ranging from tools to study protein function to potential diagnostic and therapeutic agents. In this review we will focus on the processes involved in isolating and developing aptamers as therapeutic compounds, using specific examples including the first aptamer therapeutic approved for use in humans (Pegaptanib or Macugen). We will also mention a few of the growing number of aptamer therapeutics in various stages of preclinical and clinical trial.
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