Espikem srl is a Contract Research Organization, founded in 2003 as a spin-off of the University of Florence, specialized in the field of design, synthesis, purification and characterization of peptides and their analogues of biomedical, pharmaceutical and cosmeceutical interest.

Thanks to the strong skills of a young and motivated staff, with access to innovative techniques and equipment (conventional and assisted by microwaves), Espikem srl synthesizes bioactive peptides with a high degree of purity.

The tools for product analysis and purification include: SPE, HPLC / MS, Ultra Fast HPLC / MS.

Espikem srl also deals with bioconjugates: synthesis of protein-conjugated peptides (KLH, BSA, etc), proteins conjugated to fluorescent molecules, as well as being specialized in the synthesis of peptides with post-translational modifications (glycopeptides, lipopeptides, etc.).

In 2012 Espikem srl led a project, funded by Tuscany Region (call POR CREO FESR 2007/2013), on the development of novel active ingredients of pharmaceutical and cosmeceutical interest.

Staff and organization

Co-Administrators: Paolo Gori e Fabio Conti

Scientific manager: Paolo Rovero

Technical manager: Lorenzo Pacini

Technical equipment

Solid Phase Peptide Synthesis

  • Automatic parallel peptide synthesizer Apex 396, AAPPTEC
  • Semi-automatic peptide synthesizer PS3, Protein Technology
  • Automatic microwave peptide synthesizer Liberty, CEM
  • Manual parallel peptide synthesizer PLS4x4, Advanced ChemTech
  • Semi-automatic peptide synthesizer MultiSynTech, GmbH
  • Liophylizer 5Pascal, Edwards

Characterization and purification

  • Mass Spectrometry LC-ESI-MS LCQ Advantage, ThermoFinnigan
  • Semipreparative HPLC model 600, Waters
  • Analytic HPLC Alliance, model 2695, Waters
  • Mass Spectrometer ESI-MS, Waters
  • Spot Flash for Solid Phase Extraction VWR
  • Analytic HPLC, Beckman
  • Flash Chromatography Isolera One, Biotage

Amino acids analysis

  • UPLC Acquity, Waters


E. Brini, F. Ruffini, A. Bergami, E. Brambilla, G. Dati, B. Greco, R. Cirillo, A. Proudfoot, G. Comi, R. Furlan, Administration of a monomeric CCL2 variant to EAE mice inhibits inflammatory cell recruitment and protects from demyelination and axonal loss, Journal of Neuroimmunology Volume 209, 1-2, 30 April 2009, Pages 33-39.

Raffaella Solito, Federico Corti, Silvia Fossati, Emiliya Mezhericher, Sandra Donnini, Jorge Ghiso, Antonio Giachetti, Agueda Rostagno and Marina Ziche Dutch and arctic mutant peptides of β amyloid1–40 differentially affect the FGF-2 pathway in brain endothelium, Experimental Cell Research Volume 315, 3, 1 February 2009, Pages 385-395.

Stefania Meini, Francesca Bellucci, Claudio Catalani, Paola Cucchi, Alessandro Giolitti, Paolo Santicioli and Sandro GiulianMultifaceted Approach to Determine the Antagonist Molecular Mechanism and Interaction of Ibodutant ([1-(2-Phenyl-1R-{[1-(tetrahydropyran-4-ylmethyl)-piperidin-4-ylmethyl]-carbamoyl}-ethylcarbamoyl)-cyclopentyl]-amide) at the Human Tachykinin, NK2 Receptor JPET May 2009 vol. 329 no. 2 486-495.

Raffaella Fontana, Marco Bregni, Arcadi Cipponi,Laura Raccosta, Cristina Rainelli, Daniela MaggioniPeripheral blood lymphocytes genetically modified to express the self/tumor antigen MAGE-A3 induce antitumor immune responses in cancer patients, Blood, 19 February 2009, Vol. 113, No. 8, pp. 1651-1660.

Francesca Bonci, Elisa Zabogli, Francesca Conti, Antonio Merico,Giulia Freer, Mauro Bendinelli and Mauro PistelloA novel method for producing target cells and assessing cytotoxic Tlymphocyte activity in outbred hosts, BMC Biotechnology 2009, 9:18 10.1186/1472-6750-9-18.

Cinzia Esposito, Mario Scrima, Alfonso Carotenuto, Annamaria Tedeschi, Paolo Rovero, Gerardino D'Errico, Anna Maria Malfitano, Maurizio Bifulco, and Anna Maria D'UrsiStructures and Micelle Locations of the Nonlipidated and Lipidated C-Terminal Membrane Anchor of 2‘,3‘-Cyclic Nucleotide-3‘-phosphodiesterase, Biochemistry, 2008, 47 (1), pp 308–319.

Ezio Gerdoni, Barbara Gallo, Simona Casazza, Silvia Musio, Ivan Bonanni, Enrico Pedemonte,Renato Mantegazza, Francesco Frassoni, Gianluigi Mancardi, Rosetta Pedotti, and Antonio UccelliMesenchymal Stem Cells Effectively Modulate Pathogenic Immune Response in Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis, Ann Neurol 2007;61:219–227.

Riccardo Patacchini, , Paolo Santicioli, , Sandro Giuliani and Carlo Alberto Maggi, Pharmacological investigation of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) contractile activity in rat detrusor muscle, European Journal of Pharmacology, Volume 509, 2-3, 21 February 2005, Pages 171-177.

Simone Giannecchini, Maria Claudia Alcaro, Patrizia Isola, Olimpia Sichi, Mauro Pistello, Anna Maria Papini , Paolo Rovero and Mauro BendinelliFeline immunodeficiency virus plasma load reduction by a retroinverso octapeptide reproducing the Trp-rich motif of the transmembrane glycoprotein, Antiviral Therapy 10:671–680.

Cinzia Esposito, Gerardino D'Errico, Maria Rosaria Armenante, Simone Giannecchini, Mauro Bendinelli, Paolo Rovero and Anna M. D'UrsiPhysicochemical characterization of a peptide deriving from the glycoprotein gp36 of the feline immunodeficiency virus and its lipoylated analogue in micellar system, Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) j Biomembranes Volume 1758, Issue 10, October 2006, Pages 1653-1661.

Anna Casati, Valérie S. Zimmermann, Fabio Benigni, Maria T. S. Bertilaccio, Matteo Bellone and Anna Mondino, The Immunogenicity of Dendritic Cell-Based Vaccines Is Not Hampered by Doxorubicin and Melphalan Administration The Journal of Immunology, 2005, 174: 3317-3325.

Ilaria Luccarini, Clara Ballerini, Tiziana Biagioli, Filippo Biamonte, Arianna Bellucci, Maria Cristina Rosi, Cristina Grossi, Luca Massacesi, Combined treatment with atorvastatin and minocycline suppresses severity of EAE, Experimental Neurology Volume 211, Issue 1, May 2008, Pages 214-226.

Anna Maria D'Ursi, Laura Giusti, Stefania Albrizio, Francesca Porchia,Cinzia Esposito, Gabriella Caliendo, Claudia Gargini, Ettore Novellino,Antonio Lucacchini, Paolo Rovero and Maria Rosa Mazzoni, A Membrane-Permeable Peptide Containing the Last 21 Residues of the GαSCarboxyl Terminus Inhibits GS-Coupled Receptor Signaling in Intact Cells: Correlations between Peptide Structure and Biological Activity, Molecular PharmacologyMarch 2006 vol. 69 no. 3727-736.

Mauro Pistello, Francesca Bonci, J. Norman Flynn, Paola Mazzetti, Patrizia Isola, Elisa Zabogli, Valentina Camerini, Donatella Matteucci, Giulia Freer, Paolo Pelosi, and Mauro Bendinelli AIDS Vaccination Studies with an Ex Vivo Feline Immunodeficiency Virus Model: Analysis of the Accessory ORF-A Protein and DNA as Protective Immunogens, Journal of Virology, September 2006, p. 8856-8868, Vol. 80, No. 18.

Cecilia Cialdai, Manuela Tramontana, Riccardo Patacchini, Alessandro Lecci, Claudio Catalani, Rose-Marie Catalioto, Stefania Meini, Claudio Valenti,Maria Altamura, Sandro Giuliani, and Carlo Alberto Maggi, A MEN15596, a novel nonpeptide tachykinin NK2 receptor antagonist, European Journal of Pharmacology, Volume 549, Issues 1-3, 7 November 2006, Pages 140-148.