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Torrance, CA, United States

Qu H.,University of Pennsylvania | Qu H.,PolyPeptide Laboratories Inc. | Ricklin D.,University of Pennsylvania | Bai H.,University of Pennsylvania | And 9 more authors.
Immunobiology | Year: 2013

Therapeutic modulation of the complement system has become increasingly important in line with the growing recognition of the role of complement in numerous diseases. Compstatin, a peptidic inhibitor that acts at the central level of the complement cascade, is currently in clinical evaluation but routes to improve its efficacy have not yet been fully explored. Here, we report improvements in both the inhibitory potency and pharmacokinetic parameters of compstatin that broaden its clinical applications. Selective modification of the compstatin N-terminus with non-proteinogenic amino acids resulted in the first analogue with subnanomolar binding affinity (KD=0.5nM) and other similarly potent derivatives with improved solubility in clinically relevant solvents. Detailed structure-activity relationship studies based on biophysical and computational methods revealed key structural determinants for the observed improvements. Importantly, pharmacokinetic evaluation in non-human primates revealed target-driven elimination kinetics with plasma half-life values exceeding expectations for peptidic drugs (close to 12h). This successful optimization strategy is expected to pave the way for systemic administration of compstatin in a range of clinical conditions. © 2012 Elsevier GmbH.

Ding S.,Amunix, Inc. | Song M.,Amunix, Inc. | Sim B.-C.,Amunix, Inc. | Gu C.,Amunix, Inc. | And 12 more authors.
Bioconjugate Chemistry | Year: 2014

XTENs are unstructured, nonrepetitive protein polymers designed to prolong the in vivo half-life of pharmaceuticals by introducing a bulking effect similar to that of poly(ethylene glycol). While XTEN can be expressed as a recombinant fusion protein with bioactive proteins and peptides, therapeutic molecules of interest can also be chemically conjugated to XTEN. Such an approach permits precise control over the positioning, spacing, and valency of bioactive moieties along the length of XTEN. We have demonstrated the attachment of T-20, an anti-retroviral peptide indicated for the treatment of HIV-1 patients with multidrug resistance, to XTEN. By reacting maleimide-functionalized T-20 with cysteine-containing XTENs and varying the number and positioning of cysteines in the XTENs, a library of different peptide-polymer combinations were produced. The T-20-XTEN conjugates were tested using an in vitro antiviral assay and were found to be effective in inhibiting HIV-1 entry and preventing cell death, with the copy number and spacing of the T-20 peptides influencing antiviral activity. The peptide-XTEN conjugates were also discovered to have enhanced solubilities in comparison with the native T-20 peptide. The pharmacokinetic profile of the most active T-20-XTEN conjugate was measured in rats, and it was found to exhibit an elimination half-life of 55.7 ± 17.7 h, almost 20 times longer than the reported half-life for T-20 dosed in rats. As the conjugation of T-20 to XTEN greatly improved the in vivo half-life and solubility of the peptide, the XTEN platform has been demonstrated to be a versatile tool for improving the properties of drugs and enabling the development of a class of next-generation therapeutics. © 2014 American Chemical Society.

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