Peptides are on the horizon as versatile molecules and are likely to play a significant role in healthcare delivery and the peptide industry is growing at 15%

Peptides play an important role in the development of new treatment methods targeted against cancer, diabetes, auto-immune diseases, more effective diagnostics and as chemical messengers and neuro transmitters. Peptides are more acceptable to the body as they are part of proteins and are completely bio-degradable.

Peptides have huge potential as drugs and are considered as natural pharmaceuticals. Nature has designed peptides for a large variety of specific functions as chemical messengers, neurotransmitters, and highly active stimulators.

With contract research organizations (CROs) growing the Indian peptide therapeutics industry is all set for a major boom. The total Indian market of the peptide therapeutics in 2006 was approximately US $20 billion and is growing over 15 percent and the global peptide market at around $10 billion. New technologies and economical methods of producing peptides of Indian companies offer great potentials to tap this market. Companies like Wockhardt, Sun Pharma, Dabur and Jupiter BioSciences have already established a sound base and portfolio to tap the growing market.

According to experts the interest in peptide drugs has recently increased with developments in areas like modifications of peptides with non-natural amino acids to increase stability, improvements in manufacturing to increase yield and reduce cost, synthesis of diverse peptide libraries to screen large sets of drug targets and development of phage display technology to identify target specific peptides.

In 2007, the peptide market is expected to grow at a rate of five percent and the regulatory scenario has also started to witness improvements in order to accommodate the change.

The advantages of peptides in therapeutics are

  • Peptides has high specificity and activity 
  • Low accumulation without causing problems associated with bio-magnification and toxicity
  • Low immunogenic response

Currently, peptides are being developed for therapeutic applications in a variety of clinical indications for treatment of allergy, asthma, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, growth impairment, cardiovascular diseases, inflammation, vaccines, baldness, analgesia, ophthalmology, epilepsy, gynaecology, antiviral, antibacterial and obesity.