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Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2006 Apr;7(6):653-63.

Antimicrobial peptides: therapeutic potential.

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Helix Biomedix, Inc., Bothell, WA 98021, USA.


A significant component of the innate immune system of a wide variety of animals and plants is arbitrated by cationic host defence peptides. In man, these peptides, in addition to exhibiting a direct antimicrobial activity, seems to provide a range of non-antimicrobial bioactivities related to defence, inflammation and wound healing. Despite the fact that such peptides have so far failed to reach the market, there are continued initiatives to advance such potential therapeutics to, and through, the clinic. The reasons behind such initiatives include: reduced manufacturing costs for peptides; allowing entry into therapeutic areas previously inaccessible due to cost; the continued identification of previously unknown bioactivities of such peptides; and the resurgence of interest in peptide therapeutics. As a result, clinical programmes based on cationic host defence peptides exist in the areas of infection, dermatology, cancer and inflammation. The probability of clinical success for host defence peptide-based therapeutics is on the rise as options for a wider range of clinical indications emerge.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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