This overview focuses on bioconjugates of water-soluble polymers with low molecular weight drugs and proteins. After a short discussion of the origins of the field, the state-of-the-art is reviewed. Then research directions needed for the acceleration of the translation of nanomedicines into the clinic are outlined. Two most important directions, synthesis of backbone degradable polymer carriers and drug-free macromolecular therapeutics, a new paradigm in drug delivery, are discussed in detail. Finally, the future perspectives of the field are briefly discussed.