Recombinant DNA Technology May Enable Oral, Rather Than Injectable, Delivery Of Protein Drugs

Transferrin, a plasma protein found in blood, can be fused with large, protein-based drugs such as granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) to create a new oral compound that is capable of surviving the journey through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and then able to cross over into the bloodstream to be used by the body, according to research from the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy. This technology may allow for oral administration of drugs that previously could only be given by injection, notes Wei-Chiang Shen, Ph.D., professor and acting chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Shen, along with colleagues David Ann, Ph.D., professor of molecular pharmacology and toxicology, and Yun Bai, doctoral student in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, wrote a paper on this research that will appear in the May 17 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), which is currently available online.

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