Ali Habashi

Peptide and Protein Drug Delivery Strategy Using Bone-Seeking Drug Conjugates



Recent drug delivery strategies offer potential for targeted delivery and action of the biologically active agents to the desired site of drug action, whilst trying to minimize systemic drug exposure and greatly reducing undesirable off-target adverse effects. In other applications, the prolongation of drug effect using sustained, and prolonged release strategies have been utilized. With respect to targeting the bone, the huge capacity of vast surfaces of remodeling bone offers a great opportunity for bone drug delivery. This approach has been used in nuclear medicine for diagnostic imaging and bone-scan. Researcher have investigated the perspective of bone as a target for delivery of novel small molecule drugs, however, regarding delivery of  peptide and protein conjugates, endeavors to date have been limited by challenges inherent with controlling the site-directed coupling of bone targeting moieties to the polypeptide backbone, whilst maintaining the biological effectiveness of the active peptide or protein component. Hence, the broad goals of our laboratory at Idaho State University are to establish, improve and undertake the scale-up of site-specific synthesis of bone-seeking variants of important peptides and proteins with promising beneficial effects on prevention and treatment of different disease such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, pulmonary disorders, mental disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson disease, and bone diseases. The proposed peptide conjugates can be delivered noninvasively, using novel nanotechnology methods developed for oral administration or transdermal delivery over superficial bone skeleton such as the tibia. We plan to conduct the required pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic, safety/toxicology evaluations to prepare those novel bone-targeting compounds for clinical trials, as an innovative platform for delivery of peptides and proteins indicated for the targeted treatment of aforementioned different diseases.



Dr. Habashi is a pharmacist, pharmaceutical scientist and assistant professor at the College of Pharmacy, Idaho State University. He received his Pharm D degree in 1991 and his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics in 2000 and Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2014. His scholarship is grounded in theories and methods found in the field of pharmaceutical sciences particularly analytical chemistry and instrumental analysis, pharmaceutical formulation, drug delivery, dosage form design, pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamic and modeling, and drug-disease interaction with a focus on inflammation. He was involved in several projects through his career from undergrad program to postdoctoral fellowship and disseminated his findings through more than 50 abstracts, presentations, and papers in prestigious international conferences and journals. Currently, the research goals of his laboratory are mainly focused on:

  1. Bone-targeting peptide drug delivery for different indications such as cancer, arthritis, cardiovascular and renal diseases, diabetes and bone disorders.
  2. Development of novel drug delivery systems using nanotechnology for small peptides and proteins for the prevention and treatment of different diseases.