The challenge of realizing molecularly-targeted breakthrough drugs – Innovative synthesis of peptides –
Peptide Research Center (Director: Dr. Hisashi YAMAMOTO) is developing a low-cost method for synthesizing peptides of protein fragments at less than 1/1000th the cost of conventional methods. Peptides have a size that is larger than the small molecules used in oral medicines and smaller than the large molecules used in antibody drugs administered by injection. In using peptides, it is hoped that medicines can be pioneered that can be taken orally, that can focus specifically on diseased cells, that are highly therapeutic, and that are free of side effects. Until now, however, peptides have been impractical for use in pharmaceuticals due to the extremely high cost of synthesis. If peptides can be mass-produced at low cost, they could contribute to improving our healthy life expectancy.