The Latest News in the Peptide World

January 2024

The "January 2024 Peptide Spotlight" presents the top 10 articles in the peptide space. Focusing on novel therapies for cancer, innovative drug synthesis, and vaccine development, this collection highlights the growing impact of peptide science in medical breakthroughs and pharmaceutical innovations at the dawn of 2024.

01. Revolutionary Breakthrough in Cancer Treatment: Bicyclic Peptide Inhibits MYC Protein

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, have made a significant breakthrough in cancer treatment by developing a molecule that inhibits the MYC protein, a key driver in most human cancers. This new molecule, a stereodiversified bicyclic peptide, binds to MYC, a structureless protein responsible for worsening the majority of human cancers, with sub-micro-molar affinity. This advancement, detailed in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, represents a major step in drug development, as MYC is implicated in 75% of all cancer cases. The study highlights the peptide's enhanced binding performance, moving closer to therapeutic application, and discusses ongoing efforts to improve cellular delivery for effective treatment.


2. Advancements in Cyclic Peptide Drug Synthesis

The article discusses a novel approach by a team at Chugai for creating cyclic peptide drugs. Focusing on improving drug characteristics like membrane penetration, this method signifies a leap in the field of medicinal chemistry. The team's effort in developing an expression system for screening libraries paves the way for innovative drug discovery, particularly targeting challenging proteins like KRAS. Their methodology marks a significant advance in synthesizing cyclic peptides, promising more effective and accessible drug candidates.


3. Harnessing Circular RNA for Cancer Vaccine Development

A groundbreaking study by Huang et al., featured in Nature, unveils new potential for cancer vaccines. The research focuses on cryptic antigenic peptides derived from circular RNA (circRNA), capable of inducing immune responses. Experiments in mouse models of breast cancer and melanoma showed that vaccines containing these specific circRNAs or the encoded peptides were effective. This discovery opens up new avenues in anticancer vaccine development, spotlighting the noncoding genome as a rich source of vaccine antigens.


4. Perpetual Medicines' $8 Million Leap into Peptide Drug Discovery

Perpetual Medicines has successfully completed an $8 million seed financing round to advance its innovative platform for peptide drug discovery. The funding, led by Chengwei Capital, will bolster the company's mission to integrate computational design and synthesis in drug discovery. The platform uniquely leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning for exploring peptide chemical space, with a focus on oncology, autoimmunity, and metabolic diseases. This approach could revolutionize the discovery and optimization of peptide drug candidates, potentially speeding up development, reducing costs, and improving drug quality.


5. Ironwood Pharmaceuticals' Patent Filing for GI Disorder Treatment

Ironwood Pharmaceuticals Inc. has recently filed a patent for a novel peptide intended to treat various gastrointestinal disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn's disease. The peptide, designed to activate the guanylate cyclase C receptor, demonstrates a promising approach in regulating intestinal motility. The patent encompasses various aspects, including composition, isolation, and pharmaceutical applications of the peptide. This innovative development signifies a potential advancement in treating gastrointestinal conditions, offering new hope for effective management and relief.


6. Ocelot Bio Receives FDA Orphan Drug Designation for Ascites Treatment

The FDA granted orphan drug designation to Ocelot Bio’s OCE-205, a therapeutic peptide for treating ascites excluding cancer-related cases. This designation, the second for OCE-205, positions the drug as a promising treatment for complications of end-stage liver disease. Preclinical trials showed its potential in reducing portal hypertension and ascites volume, with clinical studies planned for 2024. The orphan drug designation provides incentives like tax credits and market exclusivity upon approval.


7. FDA's New Clinical Pharmacology Guidance for Peptide Drugs

The FDA has published a draft guidance on December 13, 2023, providing crucial recommendations for peptide drug product development within new drug applications. This document highlights the importance of clinical pharmacology in determining the pharmacokinetics, safety, and efficacy of peptide drugs. It defines peptides as polymers of up to 40 amino acids, obtainable from various sources, and underscores the efforts to enhance their absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion properties. The guidance covers diverse topics, including bioanalytical approaches, immunogenicity assessments, drug interactions, and QT interval prolongation, aiming to refine the development and evaluation of peptide-based therapeutic solutions.


8. Sanara MedTech's Strategic Move: Exclusive License for Patented Collagen Peptides

Sanara MedTech Inc. has announced an exclusive licensing agreement with Tufts University to develop and commercialize a patented technology covering 18 unique collagen peptides. This strategic move, underlined by the formation of a new subsidiary, Sanara Collagen Peptides, LLC (SCP), positions Sanara to expand its product range, including its flagship CellerateRX®. The agreement includes various patents and patents pending in multiple regions. Sanara's CEO, Zach Fleming, emphasized the potential to improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs through new bioactive collagen peptide-based applications. This initiative reflects Sanara’s commitment to innovation in wound and skin care, aiming to address needs in the surgical, chronic wound, and skincare markets.


9. Venomous Discovery: Novel Peptides with Biotechnological Promise from Brazilian Snakes

Brazilian researchers have identified two novel peptides with significant biotechnological potential in snake venom. The studies, involving the lancehead pit viper and the South American bushmaster, revealed peptides that could be instrumental in developing new drugs. One such peptide, Bc-7a, found in the lancehead pit viper's venom, is part of a protein causing bleeding but functionally resembles peptides used in blood pressure medication like captopril. Another, Lm-10a from the bushmaster's venom, is derived from a hemorrhagic toxin and inhibits angiotensin-converting enzyme, indicating potential for blood pressure treatment. These findings underscore the untapped potential of snake venoms in medicinal research.


10. A Breakthrough in Antibiotic Research: Zosurabalpin Targets Resistant Pathogens

Chemical & Engineering News reports on a novel macrocyclic peptide, zosurabalpin, developed by Roche scientists, showing promise as an antibiotic. Zosurabalpin targets carbapenem-resistant strains of Acinetobacter baumannii, a high-priority pathogen as per the World Health Organization. This peptide operates through a unique mechanism, blocking lipid transport into the bacterial outer membrane. Distinguished from broad-spectrum antibiotics, it specifically targets A. baumannii, potentially reducing the risk of widespread resistance. After successful first clinical trials, zosurabalpin stands out as a hopeful candidate in the ongoing battle against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.



Get the top 10 highlights monthly in your inbox

About Us

CSBio is a leading peptide and instrumentation manufacturing company located in Silicon Valley, California.

CSBio provides nonGMP and cGMP peptides, peptide APIs, research scale peptide synthesizers, commerical scale peptide synthesizers, DNA/RNA oligonucleotide synthesizers, and preparative HPLC purification equipment.

Peptide Contact

20 Kelly Court
Menlo Park, CA 94025


Instrumentation Contact

915 Linda Vista Ave
Mountain View, CA, 94043