Orally available, protein-based immunotherapy for treatment of IBD (e.g. Ulcerative Colitis)
The interactions between the microbiota and local immune system within the gut are believed to play a role in certain disorders such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), with the disruption of intestinal homeostasis believed to be a mechanism behind some of these disorders. Lactobacillus plantarum is a mesophilic lactic acid bacterium, and one of the most predominant Lactobacillus species resident in the human gut. It has been suggested for use as a probiotic due to its ability to survive within and interact with the human intestine.
The ST peptide is based on an active domain of a protein secreted by a strain of Lactobacillus plantarum, so-called because it is rich in serine and threonine. The peptide interacts with human immune dendritic cells (DCs) specifically to block the pro-inflammatory interleukin, IL-12, and to stimulate production of the anti-inflammatory interleukin, IL-102,3, thereby restoring gut immune homeostasis. The programme derived from initial research lead by Prof Stella Knight and colleagues at St Mark’s Hospital (an international referral centre for intestinal and colorectal disorders) that found a lack of STp in Ulcerative Colitis (UC) patients compared to healthy controls. Interestingly, preliminary in vivo data shows that the peptide is orally available, resistant to proteolytic degradation, results in reduced gut inflammation and reverses signs of UC in the animal model.
- Novel biological product, that has demonstrated in vitro to reduce inflammation by modulating dendritic cells
- Postbiotic resistant to digestion
- Small dosage combined with low production costs makes the effective dose per person very cheap
- Preliminary in vivo data in animal models of UC and access to clinical experts at St Mark’s Hospital – international referral centre for GI disorders
- Potential for development of a companion diagnostic due to absence of STp in patients with UC vs healthy individuals
Intellectual property information
Patents granted in Europe (EP2754666), US (US9340588), and Japan (JP6059230B)
- Bernardo et al (2014) Altered human gut dendritic cell properties in ulcerative colitis are reversed by Lactobacillus plantarum extracellular encrypted peptide STp, Mol. Nutr. Food Res. 2014, 58, 1132– 1143
- Bernardo et al (2012) Microbiota/Host Crosstalk Biomarkers: Regulatory Response of Human Intestinal Dendritic Cells Exposed to Lactobacillus Extracellular Encrypted Peptide, PLOS One 7(5): e36262
- Sánchez et al (2009) Identification of Novel Proteins Secreted by Lactobacillus plantarum that Bind to Mucin and Fibronectin, Journal of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology 17: 158-162