Research Platform and Approach

Advancing the Science of Drug Innovation

Successful drug innovation grows from a deep appreciation of disease pathophysiology and ingenuity in fine-tuning the pharmacologic properties of promising disease-modifying therapies.

Nektar Therapeutics is the global leader in polymer chemistry — a powerful approach to drug design that focuses on creating new molecular entities with optimized pharmacology. Our success is rooted in two key strategies. The first is targeting well-characterized biomolecular pathways considered likely to yield significant therapeutic benefits. And the second is exploiting the structural malleability of polymers — key chemical building blocks that provide a near-limitless toolbox with which to customize the behavior of a new molecule.

Our unique methodology has led to an impressive record of approved medicines which are used to treat patients around the world. Visit Our Medicines.

Defining the Science of Polymer Conjugation

We call our approach to new therapeutic development "smart pharmacology."

Our chemistry is being used to control pharmacokinetics, biodistribution, receptor selectivity and other important properties with high precision. Simply put: smart pharmacology hits the right target in the right place in the body, at the right time.

Nektar Therapeutics chemists and molecular engineers shape the behavior of polymer drug conjugates by carefully selecting the architecture, composition and size of the polymer and by identifying the right location and chemistry of the linker molecules that bind it to the active agent. The polymer component within the new molecule influences the PK, biodistribution and selectivity of the composite molecule, without compromising the biological action on the target receptors.

With our proprietary platform, a broad range of valuable functional attributes become accessible to new therapies. For example, we have developed methods to:

  • Target tumor tissue more effectively
  • Modulate entry of molecules into the central nervous system (CNS)
  • Tune receptor selectivity to achieve the proper balance of therapeutic action
  • Design new therapies in the form of a convenient pill in areas where this was not possible in the past
  • Significantly prolong the amount of time a medicine circulates in the body to extend the duration of its activity