State institute develops novel drug development platform for cancer and dementia medicines

By Park Sae-jin Posted : February 21, 2023, 15:26 Updated : February 21, 2023, 15:26

[Courtesy of KAIST]

SEOUL -- A prominent state research institute has developed a cyclic-peptide-based novel drug development platform that can be tailor-made to match biomarkers. The platform can be used for the research and development of medicines for cancer and dementia treatment.
Cyclic peptides are polypeptide chains with low toxicity and high pharmacologic activity. However, the commercialization of medicines containing cyclic peptides is very hard because the peptides are hard to design and mass produce.
The Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST) said that its research team developed a technique that enabled researchers to design effective cyclic peptides capable of screening the unusual composition of proteins. Through tests, the researchers proved that the new cyclic peptide was able to detect HDAC8 (histone deacetylase 8), a cancer biomarker found to fuse with proteins to cause various types of cancer.
"If this technique is commercialized, we will virtually be able to search for novel drug candidates for various types of diseases. It will bring a new paradigm to research and development sectors for medicines for target agents for cancers, cure for brain neural system, and other global novel drugs," KAIST professor Park Hee-sung said in a statement on February 21. 
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