Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Depots for the Treatment of Type-2 Diabetes
Peptide drugs are an exciting class of pharmaceuticals currently in development for the treatment of a variety of diseases; however, their main drawback is a short half-life, which dictates multiple and frequent injections. We have developed two novel peptide delivery approaches -Protease Operated Depots (PODs) and GLP-1-ELP depots- to provide sustained and tunable release of a peptide drug from an injectable s.c. depot.
We demonstrate proof-of-concept of these delivery systems, by fusion of monomer or protease cleavable oligomers of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), a type-2 diabetes peptide drug, and a thermally responsive, depot-forming elastin-like-polypeptide (ELP) that undergoes thermally triggered inverse phase transition below body temperature, thereby forming an injectable depot. Utilizing a novel system we designed for repetitive gene synthesis, various GLP-1 polymers were designed and tested as potential therapeutic payload for PODs. By attachment to various ELPs, designed to transition above or below body temperature, we created both depot forming GLP-ELP fusions and soluble control. All fusion constructs maintained alpha helical content and were shown to be resistant to proteolytic degradation. In vitro activated PODs and GLP-ELP fusions were able to activate the GLP-1 receptor and remarkably, a single injection of both GLP-1 PODs and GLP-ELP fusions were able to reduce blood glucose levels in mice for up to 5 days, 120 times longer than an injection of the native peptide drug. These findings suggest that ELP based peptide depots may offer a modular, genetically encoded alternative to various synthetic peptide delivery schemes for sustained delivery of peptide therapeutics.
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