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Ben-Gurion U. and Sorrento Therapeutics sign agreement to develop anti-hepatitis C virus antibodies

SAN DIEGO AND BEER-SHEVA, ISRAELJuly 9, 2013 -- Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. (OTCQB: SRNE; Sorrento) and B.G. Negev Technologies and Applications Ltd., the technology transfer company of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), have announced an option and license agreement to develop therapeutic products to treat Hepatitis C Virus (HCV).

"We are pleased to be collaborating with Sorrento to develop our fully human anti-HCV antibody clones into potential anti-HCV therapeutics," said Leslie Lobel, M.D., Ph.D., a lecturer and vice chair of the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Genetics in BGU's Faculty of Health Sciences. Dr. Lobel identified the antibody clones from patients who have recovered from HCV infections.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 170 million people worldwide are chronically infected with Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), including approximately 3.2 million people in the United States.

This collaborative effort utilizes the respective strengths of each organization to create an important product opportunity consisting of therapeutic and/or prophylactic agents against HCV infections. Sorrento, a San Diego-based company, will be responsible for developing the anti-HCV antibody products.

"Sorrento has already achieved many successes using its proprietary G-MAB library to identify, characterize and develop fully human antibodies against difficult targets relevant to infectious agents," said Henry Ji, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Sorrento.

"We are excited to be working with Dr. Lobel to add a program targeting HCV to our existing portfolio of therapeutic antibodies for the prevention and/or treatment of major infectious diseases." Doron Krakow, executive vice president of American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev said, "It is exciting that another medical breakthrough emanating from BGU's research laboratories will potentially become a product that could help people suffering from hepatitis.

"Dr. Lobel was a pioneer at BGU, born and educated in the U.S., who chose to establish his research in the Negev Desert rather than at a top American medical university, so this is a truly significant development," Krakow added.


Contact: Andrew Lavin
American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

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