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Pharm Res. 1989 Nov;6(11):903-18.

Stability of protein pharmaceuticals.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Kansas, Lawrence 66045.


Recombinant DNA technology has now made it possible to produce proteins for pharmaceutical applications. Consequently, proteins produced via biotechnology now comprise a significant portion of the drugs currently under development. Isolation, purification, formulation, and delivery of proteins represent significant challenges to pharmaceutical scientists, as proteins possess unique chemical and physical properties. These properties pose difficult stability problems. A summary of both chemical and physical decomposition pathways for proteins is given. Chemical instability can include proteolysis, deamidation, oxidation, racemization, and beta-elimination. Physical instability refers to processes such as aggregation, precipitation, denaturation, and adsorption to surfaces. Current methodology to stabilize proteins is presented, including additives, excipients, chemical modification, and the use of site-directed mutagenesis to produce a more stable protein species.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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