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J Drug Deliv. 2012;2012:103973. doi: 10.1155/2012/103973. Epub 2012 May 7.

Poly(ethylene glycol)-Prodrug Conjugates: Concept, Design, and Applications.

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NCE-Polymer Chemistry Group, Piramal Life Sciences Ltd., 1 Nirlon Complex, Off Western Express Highway, Goregaon (E), Mumbai 400063, India.


Poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) is the most widely used polymer in delivering anticancer drugs clinically. PEGylation (i.e., the covalent attachment of PEG) of peptides proteins, drugs, and bioactives is known to enhance the aqueous solubility of hydrophobic drugs, prolong circulation time, minimize nonspecific uptake, and achieve specific tumor targetability through the enhanced permeability and retention effect. Numerous PEG-based therapeutics have been developed, and several have received market approval. A vast amount of clinical experience has been gained which has helped to design PEG prodrug conjugates with improved therapeutic efficacy and reduced systemic toxicity. However, more efforts in designing PEG-based prodrug conjugates are anticipated. In light of this, the current paper highlights the synthetic advances in PEG prodrug conjugation methodologies with varied bioactive components of clinical relevance. In addition, this paper discusses FDA-approved PEGylated delivery systems, their intended clinical applications, and formulations under clinical trials.

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