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Sorrento Awarded Grant from the National Institutes of Health for the Development of a Small Molecule Myc Inhibitor
Date:7/21/2014

SAN DIEGO, July 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: SRNE; Sorrento), a late-stage clinical oncology company developing new treatments for cancer and its associated pain, today announced that it has received non-dilutive funding for the preclinical development of a small molecule inhibitor targeting the important oncogenic transcription factor Myc.

The Myc protein has also been recognized as an important determinant of cancer metabolism and protein synthesis. It is involved as a dominant factor in most human cancers and is rarely mutated, but rather its "gain of function" results from overexpression or gene amplification. Abnormal Myc activity is believed to play a substantial role in at least one out of every seven cancer deaths and is often a key factor in breast, lung, colon, hematologic, and other cancers. Recent work on Myc highlighted the unexpected roles in cancers of nominally non-Myc etiology, such as KRAS-driven lung cancer[1], and also cellular resistance to PI3K inhibitors might be mediated by Myc activity[2]. However, potent and selective small molecule Myc inhibitors have been very difficult to identify due to the structural characteristics of the Myc molecule.

Sorrento was awarded a Phase 1 Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which will support the preclinical development of the Myc inhibitor, which interferes with the protein-protein interaction (PPI) between Myc and its obligatory dimerization partner, Max, preventing sequence-specific binding to DNA and subsequent initiation of oncogenic transformation. The principal investigator on the STTR grant is Sorrento's Senior Director of Research and Development Dr. Gunnar F. Kaufmann, and the academic collaborato
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