Polymer selection impacts the pharmaceutical profile of site-specifically conjugated Interferon-α2a

J Control Release. 2022 Aug:348:881-892. doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2022.05.060. Epub 2022 Jun 29.


Conjugation of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) to biologics is a successful strategy to favorably impact the pharmacokinetics and efficacy of the resulting bioconjugate. We compare bioconjugates synthesized by strain-promoted azide-alkyne cycloaddition (SPAAC) using PEG and linear polyglycerol (LPG) of about 20 kDa or 40 kDa, respectively, with an azido functionalized human Interferon-α2a (IFN-α2a) mutant. Site-specific PEGylation and LPGylation resulted in IFN-α2a bioconjugates with improved in vitro potency compared to commercial Pegasys. LPGylated bioconjugates had faster disposition kinetics despite comparable hydrodynamic radii to their PEGylated analogues. Overall exposure of the PEGylated IFN-α2a with a 40 kDa polymer exceeded Pegasys, which, in return, was similar to the 40 kDa LPGylated conjugates. The study points to an expanded polymer design space through which the selected polymer class may result in a different distribution of the studied bioconjugates.

Keywords: Analytical ultracentrifugation; Bioconjugate; Genetic code expansion; Pharmacokinetic; Poly(ethylene glycol); Polyglycerol.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Interferon alpha-2
  • Kinetics
  • Polyethylene Glycols* / pharmacokinetics
  • Polymers*
  • Recombinant Proteins


  • Interferon alpha-2
  • Polymers
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Polyethylene Glycols