SetLance activity is currently based on:
1) identification, production, characterization and preclinical development of antimicrobial peptides;
2) construction of peptide-based medical devices for the selective removal of bacteria and bacterial toxins from the blood of sepsis patients;
3) identification and characterization of anti-inflammatory peptides able to neutralize the over expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines;
4) characterization of peptides for oncologic applications.
The antimicrobial peptide SET-M33
The antimicrobial peptide SET-M33 is an optimized version of an artificial peptide sequence isolated from a random library and selected in the past years for its efficacy and stability. The peptide is synthesized in a tetra-branched form that gives high stability to circulating proteases. SET-M33 showed considerable activity against various multi-resistant Gram-negative bacteria, including clinical isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumanii and other Enterobacteriaceae. Moreover, when SET-M33 peptide is synthesized as D-stereoisomer it gains strong activity against the Gram-positive bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. SET-M33 was tested for its efficacy in models of sepsis, pneumonia and skin infections, showing a very promising activity profile.
Branched neurotensin peptide as cancer theranostics.
Branched peptides bearing the sequence of human neurotensin (NT) are extremely selective for binding to different human cancer cells and tissues. A SetLance-patented tetrabranched peptide containing NT sequence (NT4) is conjugated to different functional units for selective imaging and killing of cancer cells. Unlike monomeric NT peptide NT4 efficiently discriminates between tumor and healthy tissue in human surgical samples of colon, pancreas adenocarcinoma and bladder cancer. Using NT4 conjugated to methotrexate or 5FdU, a significant reduction of tumor growth in mice was obtained.
This peptide is currently in the lead optimization phase and expected to enter preclinical-pharmacological stage in the next future.