Peptides are short strings of amino acids that (under the right conditions) create proteins in our bodies. Many of these proteins are naturally anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial, making peptides an important part of any wellness plan. They can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases like cancer, promote muscle growth, and increase energy levels. Peptides can be taken in the form of injections, pills, or nasal sprays. When taken via the nose, they are absorbed at a faster rate and bypass the digestive system. For people who need a boost in health, the ability to take peptides in the form of a nasal spray is an exciting option.
The FDA recently approved a peptide nasal spray to treat migraines. The drug, known as ZAVZPRET, is the first calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor antagonist to be approved for this purpose. It was developed by pharmaceutical company Pfizer. In a Phase 3 clinical trial, ZAVZPRET significantly reduced the number of migraine attacks in adults and improved other co-primary endpoints compared to placebo. The study also demonstrated pain relief as early as two hours after inhalation.
Nasal administration of drugs to the CNS bypasses the BBB and is associated with lower drug doses, a shorter time of action, and fewer adverse effects than other delivery systems. It allows for a more accurate dosing of complex biologics that cannot be easily administered by other routes, and it may allow for the use of less expensive formulations. It also allows the peptides to be delivered in higher concentrations than would be possible with a liquid formulation.
Most current nasally administered CNS drugs are small molecules, such as sumatriptan for migraines or vitamin B12 for depression. Only a few large molecules, such as adenosine for epilepsy or vasopressin to treat dementia, are available in nasal sprays.
A new form of peptide delivery to the CNS is being researched. A peptide called A1R-CT is being studied for its potential to prevent seizures in Alzheimer’s patients. It works by blocking neurabin, a protein that inhibits the protective adenosine 1 receptor on neurons and thus halts the hyperexcitability that causes seizures.
In a nasal spray test, A1R-CT was found to enter the brain and reach the neurons, where it binds to the adenosine receptor and causes them to stop firing. This can reduce the likelihood of seizures and also slow brain aging. The research team is pursuing funding to further study the ideal dosage and delivery time for this type of peptide therapy. If the results are positive, the therapy could become a valuable tool for treating Alzheimer’s and other neurological disorders. peptide nasal sprays