Kereos lead cancer therapeutic incorporates the Kereos nanotechnology with a well known peptide. This peptide's anti-tumor potential has been known for many years. However, this peptide has not been used as a cancer therapeutic due to toxicity.
Kereos uses its unique nanotechnology to pinpoint tumors for attack by this peptide while shielding healthy cells. This approach also has the potential to avoid some of the toxic side effects seen in previous cancer therapies.
The imaging agents and targeted therapeutics in Kereos' pipeline are based on proprietary ligand-targeted emulsion technologies. Individual emulsion "particles" consist of a perfluorocarbon core surrounded by a lipid monolayer. This lipid layer both stabilizes the particle and provides a virtually unlimited number of anchoring sites for targeting ligands and payload molecules. The result is an oil-in-water emulsion of particles with an average size of approximately 250nm, leading some to refer to these as "targeted nanoparticles".
With water-soluble (hydrophilic) payloads, lipophilic derivatives project the payload above the ligand-targeted emulsion surface:
While water-insoluble payloads (lipophilic), such as many chemotherapeutics, are simply incorporated into the lipid monolayer:
Delivered by injection, the Kereos products offer numerous advantages compared to other therapeutics and imaging agents. They are:
The high molecular specificity of monoclonal antibodies, small-molecule ligands and other targeting ligands for disease biomarkers translates directly into high specificity of the emulsion particles for disease sites.
While only 10 to 100 targeting ligand molecules are need to direct and securely bind an individual emulsion particle to the disease site, each particle can carry 100,000 or more payload molecules. This "signal amplification" opens up opportunities not otherwise possible.
Both in terms of size and composition, the emulsion particles are designed to be both safe and effective, and to avoid potential problems with distribution, metabolism or excretion.