Peptides, as neurotransmitters, neuromodulators, and hormones, influence a multitude of physiological processes by signal transduction mediated through receptors. In addition, during the last 20 years their role in the appearance or maintenance of various diseases could be unequivocally proven. Agents that can imitate or block the biological functions of bioactive peptides (agonists or antagonists, respectively) can be considered as aids for the investigation of peptidergic systems and also as therapeutic agents. The suitability of bioactive peptides as therapeutic agents was examined after preliminary pharmacological experiments. It was thereby shown that based on their pharmacological properties, for example degradation by peptidases or poor bioavailability, they could be employed as drugs in only a few cases. To solve this problem peptidomimetics, compounds that act as substitutes for peptides in their interaction with receptors, have been synthesized. In comparison with native peptides they show higher metabolic stability, better bioavailability, and longer duration of action. Peptidomimetics with antagonistic properties were also developed within the range of these investigations. As a result, new types of treatment and therapy for a series of diseases are possible. Although peptidomimetics have been developed largely by empirical methods (e.g. modification of native peptides, optimization of lead structures), methods for rational design based on investigations into the structure of peptidepeptide receptor complexes and studies of conformation energies, among others, are gradually being established.