Transitioning From Discovery to Lead Optimization: Peptide Synthesis Applications in Modern Peptide Drug Development

Tuesday, July 30, 2024 | 10am EDT (NA) / 3pm BST (UK) / 4pm CEST (EU-Central) 60 min

William C Blackwell III


William C Blackwell III, Director of Chemistry,
Aktis Oncology, RTP, NC


Cutting through the noise of green peptide chemistry

In this recorded webinar, you will learn about the latest developments in green peptide chemistry. 
Prof. Anna Maria Papini, University of Florence, Lorenzo Pacini, University of Florence, Robert Zitterbart, Gyros Protein Technologies

View the webinar

Cyclic Peptide Synthesis for Drug Discovery: Uses, Benefits and Challenges

View this recorded webinar in collaboration with Charnwood Discovery to understand the challenges and strategies for synthesizing cyclic peptides and understand its role in drug discovery.

Topics in this presentation include: 

  • Hints and tips for synthesis and cyclization of peptidesIssues with ring strain and what to look for/be aware of when working with cyclic peptides
  • Approaches to understanding the SAR of a cyclic peptide
  • Cyclic peptides and potential issues in drug discovery


Dr. James Krupa, Principal Research Scientist, Charnwood Discovery

Synthesizing and Decoding Posttranslational Modifications of Disordered Proteins

In this recorded webinar you will learn about the latest research in posttranslational protein modifications and a unique opportunity to obtain technical insights to synthesize these challenging peptides. 

Topics in this presentation include:

  • How posttranslational modifications regulate protein structures and biological roles
  • Strategies for accessing proteins with site-specific modifications for structural and biochemical studies
  • Insights into manual and automated synthesis of modified peptides, addressing challenges in difficult sequence


Dr. Anne C. Conibear, Assistant Professor, Institute of Applied Synthetic Chemistry, TU Wien (Technical University of Vienna)
Dr. Luisa Aguiar, Field Application Specialist, Gyros Protein Technologies

An Automated Peptide Synthesis and Purification Platform to Overcome Operational Complexity

In this webinar you will:

  • Learn how to reduce complexity in the lab with peptide synthesis and purification in a single instrument
  • Get an introduction to induction heating for fast synthesis of even the most complex peptides
  • Hear about the benefits of catch-and-release purification to improve operational reliability
  • Learn how to synthesize and purify a set of 6 peptides in less than 24 hours


Dr. Chloe Mitchell, Field Application Scientist, Gyros Protein Technologies AB

Introducing Automated Parallel Peptide Purification with the PurePep® EasyClean Auto Kit

In this introduction webinar, attendees will learn how automated purification with catch-and-release chemistry works and understand the potential of automated parallel purification with:

  • 90% less toxic solvent consumption,
  • 90% less hands-on time compared to conventional HPLC,
  • 6 and more parallel peptide purification in less than 6 hours.

Dominik Sarma, Sr. Market Manager, Gyros Protein Technologies AB
Robert Zitterbart, Director R&D PurePep EasyClean Solutions (PECS), Gyros Protein Technologies AB

Orthogonal and High-Throughput Peptide Purification: Removing Bottlenecks with the PurePep® EasyClean Technology

In this recorded webinar, attendees will learn about orthogonal peptide purity and how to remove bottlenecks in peptide purification with PurePep® EasyClean (PEC) Kits and PEC-grade peptides.

Dominik Sarma, Sr. Market Manager, Gyros Protein Technologies AB
Robert Zitterbart, Director R&D PurePep EasyClean Solutions (PECS), Gyros Protein Technologies AB

Rational Design of Peptide Nucleic Acid Conjugates for Biomedical Applications

In this webinar Dr. Dana AlsulaimanKing Abdullah Univ. of Science & Technology, talks about how to rationally design and synthesize peptide nucleic acid (PNA) conjugates to target specific biomedical applications (biosensing and therapeutics). You can also learn how to exploit robust and versatile chemistries in the bioconjugation of PNA conjugates and how to physicochemically characterize PNA conjugates.

Dr. Dana Alsulaiman, Assistant Professor of Material Science and Bioengineering,
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)

Automation of Solid-Phase Aromatic Foldamer Synthesis

Dr Céline Douat, University of Munich (LMU) - Germany describes efficient and reliable coupling methodologies which remain very remote from conventional peptide coupling approaches on the solid phase. The versatility of the PurePep Chorus instrument will be highlighted and with a special focus on how a peptide synthesizer can be diverted from its initial application to meet the needs of a growing field of research: i.e. foldamer chemistry.

Dr. Céline Douat, PhD, Scientific Co-Worker,
Chair of Chemical Biology (Group of Prof. Ivan Huc),
Dept. of Pharmacy, University of Munich (LMU) - Germany.

Obtaining Complex Peptides Thanks to Efficient Technologies is No Longer a Dream: Successful Stories of Difficult Syntheses

Prof. Anna Maria Papini, University of Florence will discuss the syntheses of biologically relevant cyclopeptides containing not only 1,4-disubstituted-[1,2,3]-triazolyl bridges but also interlocked dicarba bridges and 1,3-butadiyne constraints. This offers a powerful approach for generating stable helix mimetic structures or β-turn conformations. Not only is the stapling moiety fundamental to mimicking biological activity but also the bridge size and its location and orientation within the bridge.

Prof. Anna Maria Papini, University of Florence,
Department of Chemistry "Ugo Schiff", Interdepartmental Research Unit of Peptide and Protein Chemistry and Biology

Synthesis of Peptide-Peptide Nucleic Acid Conjugates

Peptide nucleic acids (PNAs), developed by Peter Nielsen in the early 90’s, constitute synthetic analogues of DNA and RNA, where the phosphodiester backbone of these natural oligonucleotides (ON) is replaced by a pseudopeptide structure. PNAs hybridize with complementary nucleic acid segments with higher affinity and specificity than natural ON, interfering with higher efficiency with target genes. Moreover, the unnatural backbone of PNAs makes them highly resistant to enzymatic degradation.

These characteristics make them valuable tools for various applications, from diagnostics to therapeutics. Limitations to their versatility include poor water solubility and low nuclear targeting capability. However, these have been successfully circumvented by the introduction of chemical modifications to PNA sequences, such as cell-penetrating peptides, which have been proven to be highly valuable in drug delivery and gene therapy. Just as for peptides, PNA can be obtained through standard SPPS procedures.

View this recording to hear a brief introduction of these ON analogues and address the synthesis of a target peptide-PNA sequence, particularly highlighting the differences between manual and automated approaches, using Symphony® X peptide synthesizer from Gyros Protein Technologies, and the challenges we faced during this process.

Dr. Luísa Aguiar,
Post-Doctoral researcher at Paula Gomes Lab, University of Porto

Development, optimization and scale up of therapetic peptides: approaches to solid phase synthesis and purification

The application and reliance on Solid Phase Peptide Synthesis (SPPS) has increased dramatically over recent years with the rise of peptides in diagnostic and therapeutic research. With this rapid increase in development activity, automated synthesis methods have had to adapt to be compatible with the wide range of coupling chemistries, reaction conditions and synthesis monitoring available to the practicing chemist. The subsequent purification of the synthesized peptides in that process demands rapid scale-up what is easily achieved using the Peptide Easy Clean (PEC) technology. The need for parallel, simultaneous reaction screening to optimize SPPS and purification conditions has never been greater. Here we describe the automated screening of multiple reaction conditions for the synthesis of a selection of therapeutic peptides, enabling the optimum synthetic conditions to be selected for each target, followed by the scale-up of the synthesis on a pilot-scale instrument. The rapid purification from mg to gram-scale using the PEC technology is show-cased on Liraglutide

Andrew Kennedy, Ph.D.
Global Product Manager (Peptides Business)
Gyros Protein Technologies

Dr. Robert Zitterbart
Co-Founder, Head of R&D
Belyntic GmbH, Berlin

Peptide Therapeutics: Discovery, Development and Manufacture

Peptide-based therapeutics are increasingly being seen as the future for many drug development programs, and these compounds can be found in many clinical therapeutic areas such as cancer vaccines, personalized medicines, and treatments for metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. But how do researchers in academia and industry chose a target peptide for a particular therapy? What challenges do they face when chemically synthesizing peptides as part of process development, or manufacture? Join this panel discussion where selected experts in the field will discuss these topics and answer your questions! 


  • Learn from experts in the field of peptide drug development, discovery and chemical synthesis. 
  • Understand what factors influence target selection. 
  • Learn how to overcome solid phase peptide synthesis challenges such as increasing purity and yield of the target product, and reducing impurities and side-products. Learn how to optimize your peptide synthesis with a focus on scale-up and manufacture. 

How can we improve the purification process? This webinar will look at current techniques in purification, including Peptide Easy-Clean (PEC) Technology.

Bigger, Better, Faster: New Tools for Chemical Protein Synthesis

The Kay lab at the University of Utah is focused on D-peptide inhibitor development, which requires the chemical synthesis of mirror-image protein targets. This webinar will describe the use of recently developed chemical and computational tools to accelerate chemical protein synthesis of large proteins. Specific topics will include recently developed next-generation “helping hand” traceless linkers to improve peptide solubility, the use of traceless templating to accelerate ligations, and our automated ligator program (Aligator) for prediction of the optimal synthetic routes.


  • “Helping hand” traceless linkers are a valuable tool for solubilizing difficult peptide segments.
  • Templated ligations greatly accelerate ligations and can rescue otherwise suboptimal ligation junctions.
  • Computational simulation of potential chemical protein synthesis routes can be used to predict optimal synthesis strategies.

Michael S Kay MD/PhD
Biochemistry, University of Utah

SPPS Tips for Success: Optimizing Synthesis of SARS-CoV-2 Epitopes for GMP Manufacture

Therapeutic peptides have many advantages, including high activity, broad chemical and biological diversity, and low toxicity. These and the relative ease and low cost of peptide manufacture compared to protein-based biologicals has meant that therapeutic peptides are now being used to treat a range of conditions, including metabolic diseases, cancer, cardiovascular, and infectious diseases.

The speed and flexibility of peptide synthesis is a major advantage when handling rapidly evolving conditions, such as neoantigen peptide-based vaccines for the individualized immunotherapy of certain forms of cancer. The dynamics of neoantigen presentation by the tumor cells demands high peptide purity and yield, and also the ability to quickly synthesize many peptides in parallel for timely treatment. Such performance will be invaluable in fighting COVID-19.

This session in the “SPPS Tips for Success” webinar series will focus on the synthesis  of 24 SARS-CoV-2 peptides with therapeutic potential which represents a real-world example of synthetic challenges brought by a diverse range of sequences (based on published work by Grifoni and colleagues (1)). Other applications covered in this presentation include the synthesis of GLP-1 receptor agonists as an important treatment for type 2 diabetes, and the synthesis of neoantigen peptides for metastatic melanoma cell therapy development (2). In addition to application data, here we also discuss features of peptides synthesizers that are critical for cGMP and regulatory compliance when manufacturing peptide products for clinical use. Which hardware options are important? What software features should be included, such as designing for 21CFR Part 11 compliance? And what needs to be included in an IQ/OQ package for a peptide synthesizer instrument.

(1) Grifoni, A. et al. Cell Host & Microbe 27, 671–680 April 8, 2020
(2) Lu, Y et al. Clin Cancer Res. 2014 July 1; 20(13)


  • Understand how peptide-based epitopes and therapeutics are synthesized for COVID-19 and Neoantigen applications, as well as GLP-1 agonists therapeutics for type-2 diabetes treatments.
  • Learn how to optimize peptide syntheses through reagent and condition screening.
  • Understand which factors are important for the manufacture of clinical peptides under cGMP conditions.

Dr. Cyf Ramos-Colon, Senior Scientist,
Gyros Protein Technologies

The use of parallel peptide synthesizers in the manufacture of long and complex peptides and high throughput manufacture

Reliance on Solid Phase Peptide Synthesis has increased dramatically over the decades to keep pace with the rise in the use of peptides in diagnostic and therapeutic research. In parallel, approaches to automated synthesis have evolved in order to be compatible with a diverse range of coupling chemistries, reaction conditions and synthesis monitoring. Automated peptide synthesises must be reliable, robust, fast, and easy to use.

Almac as a peptide CMO, has used parallel synthesisers for more than 15 years. In that time, we have developed methodology to manufacture very long and complex peptides, and we will present some examples in this filed. More recently, we have applied automated parallel synthesisers in a GMP setting in the manufacture of clinical grade peptides for use in vaccine products.

Alastair Hay, Account Manager
Peptides, Almac Group Ltd.

SPPS Tips for Success: Strategies for Minimizing Side-Reactions

As peptide chemists strive to achieve new methods and techniques for solid phase peptide synthesis (SPPS), strategies must also be implemented to help reduce the occurrence of unwanted side reactions that inevitability take place during the chemical synthesis process. Attend this free webinar to learn how to implement preventative measures to help reduce or eliminate unwanted side products from forming.

Lukasz Frankiewicz PhD, Senior Product Specialist
Gyros Protein Technologies

Venom Peptides: Rethinking Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel Inhibition

In this webinar, delineating the mechanism of action behind venom peptide inhibition of voltage-gated sodium channels will be presented. This will include discussion on engineering peptides to achieve subtype specificity and complete inhibition of specific sodium channels to unlock the potential of potent venom peptides as therapeutic leads for the treatment of pain.

Christina I. Schroeder, Stadtman Investigator,
National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health


SPPS Tips for Success: Designing a Synthesis

With the increasing chemical complexity of therapeutic peptides, how can you maximize the likelihood of success when developing a solid phase synthesis protocol to automate synthesis for a new peptide sequence? View this webinar to learn how to design SPPS synthesis protocols, analyze sequences and understand which factors influence decisions such as resin selection, choice of chemistry and coupling protocol.

Cyf Ramos-Colon PhD
Senior Scientist
Gyros Protein Technologies

Sequence-Specific “Peptoids” for Antifouling, Antibacterial and Self-Assembly Applications

In this webinar, sponsored in partnership with Xtalks K.H Aron Lau will highlight recent efforts in exploring solid-phase synthesized peptoids for applications beyond their conventional use in combinatorial drug discovery. 

K.H Aaron Lau, PhD
Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor),
Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry,
University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

Sustainability Considerations in Peptide Chemistry

In this webinar, sponsored in partnership with Xtalks, Craig Jamieson will discuss current efforts in the peptide chemistry community towards pursuing more sustainable replacement solvents for peptide synthesis, as well as other considerations such as coupling chemistry.

Craig Jamieson, PhD
Senior Lecturer
University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK

Innovation vs Application: Maximizing Efficiency in Peptide Drug Discovery from a Chemistry Perspective

This presentation will discuss the discovery process used in the development and selection of a Glucagon agonist, including SAR studies and the positive impacts of integrating innovative technology. Faced with limited time and resources, flexible instrumentation has been used to efficiently incorporate molecular improvements that are critical for overcoming the inherent challenges of peptide drug discovery, including optimizing physical properties and receptor selectivity.
William Blackwell III, 
Investigator, Intarcia Therapeutics
James Cain, Ph.D., 
Global Product Manager, Gyros Protein Technologies

Challenging SPPS: Difficult sequences and side reactions

Peptide therapeutics have seen increased interest in the last decade, making peptide synthesis a critical step in the drug discovery and development process. One of the major drawbacks in peptide synthesis is that success largely depends on the peptide sequence being synthesized, so what do you do when you have a sequence with failed couplings at certain cycles? Do you extend the coupling time? Change reagents? Do multiple couplings? Here we’ll discuss our take on these questions using fast parallel synthesis optimization of a sterically hindered model peptide, Aib-ACP (VQ-Aib-Aib-IDYING-NH2) which saw improvements from 7.8% using HCTU to 91% using COMU and increasing the reaction temperature to 75 °C with short reaction times (2 x 3 min). What if your synthesis challenges aren’t difficult couplings but side reactions? We’ll discuss strategies for minimizing their occurrence during fast SPPS.

Cyf Ramos-Colón, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Gyros Protein Technologies

Polar Hinges as Functionalized Conformational Constraints in (Bi)cyclic Peptides 

Protein-protein interactions (PPI’s) mediate interactions that are not only essential to homeostasis, but are also responsible for initiating and maintaining a range of physiological disorders. As a result, the inhibition of PPI's is of increasing importance to the field of drug discovery. Despite the progress that has been made in the field of PPI modulation, the development of molecules that can interfere with protein-protein interactions remains challenging. Since contact surfaces involved in PPI’s are normally large and flat, it is a serious challenge for the traditional “small-molecule” approach to effectively disrupt such a large interface. In order to address this issue, we wish to devise larger biomolecular constructs, such as cyclic peptides and peptidomimetics as PPI inhibitors. The Liskamp group has developed 'Polar hinges’ (see 'Polar Hinges as Functionalized Conformational Constraints in (Bi)cyclic Peptides, ChemBioChem, 2017, 18 (4), 387-395') as scaffolds for the cyclization of peptides, which in turn yielded bicyclic peptides and cyclized peptides with improved solubility and biological activity. During the course of this research, we noted that aqueous solubility of candidate PPI inhibitors is an absolute prerequisite not only to be able to handle and purify our target peptides; but this intrinsic property is also crucial for validation of biological activity.

Learning Objectives:

  • Challenges in the development of molecules that interfere with protein-protein interactions (PPI inhibitors)
  • Cyclic peptides and peptidomimetics as PPI inhibitors
  • Polar hinges as scaffolds for the cyclization of peptides to yield bicyclic peptides and cyclized peptides
  • Importance of aqueous solubility of candidate PPI inhibitors in the validation of biological activity
Dr Alex Hoose
Post-Doctoral Research Associate
University of Glasgow
Professor Rob Liskamp
Chair of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry & Guest Professor of Molecular Medicinal Chemistry at Utrecht University
University of Glasgow & Utrecht University (The Netherlands)