June 2, 2023
Peptides in Healthcare: What you need to know
What are peptides?
Peptides are short chains of amino acids, consisting of 2 to 50 amino acid residues, that are gaining recognition for their diverse biological functions and potential therapeutic applications in healthcare. These small yet powerful molecules play vital roles in various physiological processes and hold promise for medical interventions, and may slow the process of aging.
How do they work?
Due to their specific and targeted interactions, peptides are being investigated for their potential therapeutic benefits. Peptides should be thought of as bioidentical medications, in that they hold specific actions and should be used with a goal or specific purpose in mind. They are the building blocks of proteins and play essential roles in cellular signaling, enzymatic activities, and molecular communication within the body.
Examples of FDA-Approved Peptide Medications:
- Insulin: Insulin, a peptide hormone, is widely used to manage diabetes by regulating blood sugar levels and facilitating glucose uptake into cells.
- Ozempic/Wegovy (Semaglutide): FDA-approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and weight management, these peptides stimulate insulin release, reduce appetite, and aid in weight loss.
- Sermorelin: Approved for the diagnosis and treatment of growth hormone deficiency, sermorelin is a synthetic peptide analog of a naturally occurring growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH).
- PT-141 (Bremelanotide): FDA-approved under the brand name Vyleesi, PT-141 is used for the treatment of hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in premenopausal women. It works by activating receptors in the brain involved in sexual arousal.
Non-Patentable Peptides and Research Challenges:
Unlike many pharmaceutical drugs, certain peptides and bioidentical hormones derived from natural sources may not be eligible for patent protection. This lack of patentability presents challenges for research and development, resulting in limited exploration of these peptides despite their potential benefits.
Without patent protection, pharmaceutical companies may be less inclined to invest in the research, development, and commercialization of non-patentable peptides. The financial incentives to support the costly clinical trials, manufacturing processes, and marketing efforts are diminished. As a result, the scope of research on these peptides may be restricted, and their therapeutic potential may not be fully realized.
However, it is important to recognize that non-patentable peptides still hold promise and can offer significant benefits in healthcare. These peptides often exhibit unique properties and specific interactions within the body, which can lead to innovative therapeutic options. They may have the potential to address unmet medical needs and provide alternative treatment approaches for various conditions.
While the limitations in research and development of non-patentable peptides exist, it is essential to acknowledge their potential and the benefits they may offer. Continued exploration and investigation of these peptides can lead to new insights, improved treatment strategies, and advancements in healthcare, ultimately benefiting patients and medical practitioners alike.
Non-FDA Approved Peptides:
There are numerous non-FDA approved peptides that have gained attention for their potential benefits. Some of these include:
- BPC-157: This peptide has shown regenerative and healing properties, potentially aiding in tissue repair, reducing inflammation, and promoting gut health.
- Thymosin-beta 4: Research suggests that this peptide may have potential for tissue repair, wound healing, and recovery from injuries. It has been studied for its role in cardiac repair and muscle regeneration.
- Epithalon: Epithalon is a peptide known for its potential anti-aging effects, including potential regulation of cell division, enhancement of immune function, hormone balancing, and promotion of longevity.
- MOTS-c (Mitochondrial-derived Peptide): MOTS-c has gained attention for its potential anti-aging effects and metabolic regulation. It has shown promising results in animal studies, suggesting benefits for insulin sensitivity and age-related metabolic disorders.
Administration Methods and Supervision:
Peptides can be administered through various routes, including topical (creams, gels), oral (capsules, tablets), sublingual (under the tongue), and injection (subcutaneous or intramuscular). However, working with a trained professional that understands the proper administration is crucial for treatment outcome. A trained healthcare professional can provide personalized guidance, ensure appropriate dosing, monitor for potential side effects, and ensure overall safety.
Peptides offer immense potential in the field of healthcare, both in FDA-approved medications and in non-FDA approved areas of research. While non-patentable peptides present challenges, their exploration can lead to groundbreaking results. However, it is vital to remember that using peptides for repair goals and anti-aging benefits should only be done under medical supervision. Working with a trained professional ensures that the administration method, dosage, and potential benefits are optimized while maintaining safety and wellbeing. Please feel free to contact us if you require any assistance.