An injectable PEG-like conjugate forms a subcutaneous depot and enables sustained delivery of a peptide drug.

TitleAn injectable PEG-like conjugate forms a subcutaneous depot and enables sustained delivery of a peptide drug.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsI Ozer, A Slezak, P Sirohi, X Li, N Zakharov, Y Yao, JI Everitt, I Spasojevic, SL Craig, JH Collier, JE Campbell, DA D'Alessio, and A Chilkoti
Start Page121985
Date Published03/2023

Many biologics have a short plasma half-life, and their conjugation to polyethylene glycol (PEG) is commonly used to solve this problem. However, the improvement in the plasma half-life of PEGylated drugs' is at an asymptote because the development of branched PEG has only had a modest impact on pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Here, we developed an injectable PEG-like conjugate that forms a subcutaneous depot for the sustained delivery of biologics. The PEG-like conjugate consists of poly[oligo(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate] (POEGMA) conjugated to exendin, a peptide drug used in the clinic to treat type 2 diabetes. The depot-forming exendin-POEGMA conjugate showed greater efficacy than a PEG conjugate of exendin as well as Bydureon, a clinically approved sustained-release formulation of exendin. The injectable depot-forming exendin-POEGMA conjugate did not elicit an immune response against the polymer, so that it remained effective and safe for long-term management of type 2 diabetes upon chronic administration. In contrast, the PEG conjugate induced an anti-PEG immune response, leading to early clearance and loss of efficacy upon repeat dosing. The exendin-POEGMA depot also showed superior long-term efficacy compared to Bydureon. Collectively, these results suggest that an injectable POEGMA conjugate of biologic drugs that forms a drug depot under the skin, providing favorable pharmacokinetic properties and sustained efficacy while remaining non-immunogenic, offers significant advantages over other commonly used drug delivery technologies.

Short TitleBiomaterials