Posts Tagged ‘CNS’

English: Schematic sketch showing the transpor...

English: Schematic sketch showing the transport types at the blood-brain barrier. Deutsch: Schematische Darstellung der Transportmechanismen an der Blut-Hirn-Schranke. Français : Schéma des types de transport à travers la barrière hémato-encéphalique (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Larry H Bernstein, MD

Provided without comment.  Quite interesting.

novel protease resistant peptide shuttles able to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) by binding to a specific brain receptor


A Catalan Research Institute based in Barcelona (Spain) has identified novel protease resistant peptide shuttles able to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) by binding to a specific brain receptor. These shuttles are a powerful alternative to carry a wide variety of small and large molecules as cargos. This represents a novel opportunity to develop new delivery carriers able to cross actively a range of biological barriers.

New and innovative aspects

These compounds are novel drug delivery carriers that provide a non-invasive, non-antigenic, stable and receptor-specific way to transport drugs across the Blood-Brain Barrier and into the Central Nervous System.

These compounds show high permeability, biocompatibility, good solubility in water and resistance to proteases.


The treatment of most neurological disorders has not been fully addressed mainly because of the neuroprotective role of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) that hinders the delivery of many diagnostic and therapeutic agents into the brain. Consequently, therapeutic molecules and genes that might otherwise be effective in diagnosis and therapy do not cross the BBB in adequate amounts: 98% of compounds smaller than 400Da and 100% of larger ones do not reach further drug development stages.

Most central nervous system (CNS) diseases, however, are complex disorders with difficult molecular targets that require larger, safer and more selective drugs. As a result, brain tumors, neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, and central nervous system (CNS) diseases such as schizophrenia are not successfully treated. Therefore, finding an efficient CNS delivery system is one of the major challenges in neurological treatment and one our technology can potentially overcome.

One of the best approaches for drug delivery to the brain is the use of endogenous transport mechanisms, such as receptor-mediated transcystosis. Peptides are biocompatible molecules able to transport cargos (i.e. therapeutic compounds) to specific tissues such as the brain. However, one of the main limitations of peptides as therapeutic agents is their low stability in plasma.

The use of non-natural amino acids in peptidic sequences can circumvent this problem because they are resistant to human serum proteases. Using this approach, we obtained several modified peptides. Two of them were selected based on their protease resistance and transport capacity across the blood-brain barrier, using a specific endogenous receptor. Both peptides showed enhanced membrane permeability in vitro in comparison to standard peptides and even greater stability in plasma (over 24h).

Main advantages of its use

Novel delivery technology that provides a non-invasive, non-antigenic, permeable, stable, soluble and receptor-specific way to transport drugs across the BBB and into the CNS.

This technology may ultimately allow the delivery of therapeutic agents, even large ones, across the BBB and other biological barriers, thus increasing the effectiveness of existing or new drugs.

Potential of application in a wide number of fields and in transport through various biological barriers.


Biotechnological and Pharmaceutical companies specialized in drug discovery, drug delivery, neurological disorders, tools to cross the Blood-brain barrier. The final aim is to increase the efficiency of existing molecules for the treatment of neurological disorders.

Molecule and treatment design, drug manufacture, treatment of neurological disorders, drug delivery across the blood-brain barrier (BBB).

Intellectual property status

This invention is protected by a priority application in Spain and we plan to apply for a PCT in due time.


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