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Bioconjug Chem. 2001 Mar-Apr;12(2):195-202.

Rational design of a potent, long-lasting form of interferon: a 40 kDa branched polyethylene glycol-conjugated interferon alpha-2a for the treatment of hepatitis C.

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Hoffmann-La Roche Inc, Nutley, New Jersey 07110, USA.


A potent, long-lasting form of interferon alpha-2a mono-pegylated with a 40 kilodalton branched poly(ethylene glycol) was designed, synthesized, and characterized. Mono-pegylated interferon alpha-2a was comprised of four major positional isomers involving Lys31, Lys121, Lys131, and Lys134 of interferon. The in vitro anti-viral activity of pegylated interferon alpha-2a was found to be only 7% of the original activity. In contrast, the in vivo antitumor activity was severalfold enhanced compared to interferon alpha-2a. Pegylated interferon alpha-2a showed no immunogenicity in mice. After subcutaneous injection of pegylated interferon alpha-2a, a 70-fold increase in serum half-life and a 50-fold increase in mean plasma residence time concomitant with sustained serum concentrations were observed relative to interferon alpha-2a. These preclinical results suggest a significantly enhanced human pharmacological profile for pegylated interferon alpha-2a. Results of Phase II/III hepatitis C clinical trials in humans confirmed the superior efficacy of pegylated interferon alpha-2a compared to unmodified interferon alpha-2a.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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