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Eur J Pharm Sci. 2013 Jun 14;49(3):382-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ejps.2013.04.009. Epub 2013 Apr 19.

Chemical synthesis and formulation design of a PEGylated vasoactive intestinal peptide derivative with improved metabolic stability.

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Department of Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Shizuoka, 52-1 Yada, Suruga-ku, Shizuoka 422-8526, Japan.


The present study aimed to design a PEGylated VIP derivative, [Arg(15, 20, 21), Leu(17)]-VIP-GRR (IK312532), with improved metabolic stability, and develop its respirable powder (RP) formulation for inhalation therapy. IK312532 was chemically conjugated with PEG (5 kDa, P5K), the physicochemical and biochemical properties of which were characterized by CD spectral analysis, binding assays, and metabolic stability. CD spectral analysis demonstrated that PEG conjugation had no impact on the conformational structure of IK312532. Although the receptor-binding activity of IK312532/P5K (IC₅₀: 82 nM) was estimated to be ca. 30-fold less than that of IK312532 (IC₅₀: 2.8 nM), the metabolic stability of IK312532/P5K was highly improved. The IK312532/P5K was jet-milled and blended with lactose carrier particles to provide RP formulation of IK312532/P5K (IK312532/P5K-RP). In vitro inhalation performance and in vivo pharmacological effects of the IK312532/P5K-RP in antigen-sensitized rats were also evaluated. In cascade impactor analyses, fine particle fraction of IK312532/P5K-RP was calculated to be ca. 37%. Insufflation of IK312532/P5K-RP (150 μg of IK312532/P5K) in antigen-sensitized rats resulted in marked attenuation of inflammatory events, as evidenced by significant decreases in inflammatory biomarkers and granulocyte recruitment in pulmonary tissue 24h after the antigen challenge. From these findings, PEGylation of a VIP derivative, as well as its strategic application to the RP formulation, may be a viable approach to improve its therapeutic potential for the treatment of airway inflammatory diseases.

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