Affiliation: Dipartimento di Farmacia, Universita di Chieti-Pescara “G. d’Annunzio”, Via dei Vestini 31, 66100 Chieti, Italy.
Peptides and proteins have been known for more than a century, but was only when du Vigneaud published the first synthesis of oxytocin, that the research on bioactive peptides was truly launched. Since then, the scientific progresses in the field have been astonishing and the synthesis of peptides of virtually any size and complexity is now possible. Perhaps the most important milestone was the development of the solid-phase peptide synthesis (SPPS) by Merrifield (1963), to revolutionize the field. In this critic review, we will analyze how the SPPS contributed to widespread the manufacture of peptides as active pharmaceuticals and what will be the challenges of tomorrow in this field.