Several distinct types of companies are involved in the peptide industry. Short chains of amino acids, called peptides, are key reagents or reactants in many technologies. Peptides, which can be built from assembling amino acids or isolating short snippets of proteins, are manufactured according to highly demanding standards by a peptide company.
A peptide company often offers a special set of products and services. A sequencing laboratory accepts samples of an unknown protein and experimentally determines the linear arrangement of amino acids that make up that protein. These services may also be used as an outside verification of another company’s work.
Custom peptide synthesis firms manufacture peptides to their clients' specifications. This is accomplished by carefully adding one amino acid after another in the specified order. These companies soon become experts on the conditions under which the amino acid units will add on to the peptide tail. A research team can save considerable effort in contracting this work rather than attempting to create the chemicals in-house.
Another type of peptide company supports the industry by providing libraries of data. The catalogued data describe the physical structure and chemical properties of the peptides. They also provide standardized tests of protein purity and structure. Peptide library services support drug screening, vaccine development, and function-structures studies, among other research activities.
Peptide suppliers provide purified amino acids and many isolated peptides for research and small production purposes. The number of large-scale peptide manufacturers has grown as research on the use of peptides as drugs has continued. A peptide company that produces peptides on an industrial basis under good manufacturing practice guidelines is known as a GMP facility. A GMP certification does not directly endorse the products of a process line; however, by certifying the procedures that produce the peptides, better-quality products are the expected result.
All of these types of peptide companies will rely on other suppliers that provide enzymatic reagents, purified solvents, chemicals, and analytical software. All reagents must be highly purified to preserve the peptides and to provide a reaction climate that minimizes side reactions. Enzymes used in peptide work are highly reactive and must be handled carefully. High-quality resin suppliers provide resins used as reaction sites or to separate and characterize peptides. Industry-specific software aids the identification and analysis work performed at a peptide company.