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Systematic screening of peptides is a well-established approach. The peptides can be naturally derived or chemically synthesized, with the latter method being more prevalent.

Lakshmi Kamath, Ph.D   |
[Updated On: 08/19/2008]

Ambryx Biotechnology ( performs systematic screening of naturally derived peptides. It has an anticancer peptide in the preclinical stage with three more in R&D. ?We assessed secreted protein fractions derived from embryonic cells for apoptotic effects in multiple in vitro cancer cell models. We discovered a native protein that binds to zinc resulting in a conformation change revealing active peptide domains that have anticancer activity. We subsequently isolated the active peptide domain,? says Helen Chen, Ph.D., VP of business development at Ambryx.

Ambryx anticancer peptide drug has natural glycosylation, so it has the potential to last longer in vivo and be truly bioavailable. ?The peptide was 8 to 10 times more active than native protein as it does not require zinc for activity,? says Dr. Chen. The company is currently gathering data in animal obesity models.