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UW Chemical Engineers Develop a New Polymer to Boost Protein-Based Therapies

jiangUW chemical engineering professor Shaoyi Jiang and PhD student Andrew Keefe have developed a polymer that increases the effectiveness of protein therapeutics much more than current methods. Their results are published in a December 2011 article in Nature Chemistry.

Protein therapeutics (such as interferon) are highly disease-specific and therefore quickly growing to replace small molecule drugs as primary pharmaceutical products. Proteins have great potential to manage and cure diseases, but there are limitations, due to their fragile nature. Manufacturing, administration, as well circulation through the body pay a large toll on developing a protein therapy. A standard technique uses polyethylene glycol to overcome these limitations and keep proteins stable and circulating longer in the body, but a steep price is paid in the proteins' biological activity. Jiang and Keefe's zwitterionic polymer provides the same benefits without reducing biological activity.

See a detailed news item summarizing the findings and their context, as well as the text of the article, at

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article: nd-discussion