SAN DIEGO, July 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: SRNE) today announced that it has received an Advanced Technology Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The peer-reviewed grant was awarded in further support of the Company's program to generate and develop novel antibody therapeutics and vaccines to combat Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus or "Staph") infections, including methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), by disrupting quorum sensing, a bacterial communication process essential to virulence. The Phase I grant award is for a total of $600,000, $300,000 annually for two years, with the possibility of Phase II funding of $1 million per year for up to 3 years. $300,000 was previously funded in 2010 and this second grant award represents year two of the Phase I grant award. In recommending the grant application for funding, expert panel reviewers noted that targeting quorum sensing and the virulence factors of S. aureus represented a paradigm shift, which could result in fewer side effects than conventional drug therapies.
"In view of this second grant award, it is clear that the NIH remains highly motivated to fund the innovative approach of quorum quenching we licensed from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) to tackle the serious healthcare burden of Staph aureus infections," said Henry Ji, Ph.D., Interim Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer of Sorrento Therapeutics.
Sorrento Therapeutics' MRSA program targets specific auto-inducing peptides (AIPs) central to the quorum sensing system of S. aureus, which induces bacterial virulence. Masking these AIPs leads to a disruption of bacterial communication ("quorum quenching") and suppresses virulence. In January of 2010,
|SOURCE Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc.|
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