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Publication Detail
PEGylated drugs in rheumatology--why develop them and do they work?
Lack of efficacy and drug-related adverse effects are important reasons for the discontinuation of treatment in patients with rheumatic diseases. The development of new biologic therapies seeks to address these problems by specifically targeting the pathogenic mechanisms of disease. Most current biologics are proteins (particularly antibodies and enzymes) administered parenterally. It is important to optimize properties such as serum half-life, immunogenicity and solubility. Companies have thus begun to modify the drugs by conjugate chemistry, binding inert molecules such as polyethylene glycol (PEG) to biologic molecules to improve their pharmacodynamic properties. The use of PEG to alter these properties has to be weighed against the negative aspects of PEGylation, such as decreased activity and heterogeneity. This review focuses on the currently available PEGylated drugs used in rheumatological diseases, their efficacy, drawbacks and the current clinical trial evidence supporting their use.
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