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Sorrento Awarded NIH Grant to Advance Immunotherapy Targeting Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)
Date:8/26/2014

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 26, 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 funding to advance an immunotherapy targeting WNT1-Inducible Signaling Protein-1 (WISP1) for the potential treatment of IPF, which affects more than 100,000 Americans. As this disease progresses, scarring in the lungs increases and patients gradually lose the ability to breathe, leading ultimately to death in two to five years after diagnosis.

WISP1 (also known as CCN4) is an autocrine and paracrine extracellular stimulus involved in several detrimental profibrotic processes. Preclinical studies have shown that WISP1: 1) is induced in human lung cells by key profibrotic growth factors, such as TGF-B, 2) is upregulated at the alveolar epithelial surface in IPF; 3) causes protein induced hyperplasia and proliferation of alveolar epithelial cells accompanied by increased expression of matrix metalloproteinases and fibroblast-like phenotypic changes; 4) protein stimulates fibroblasts to deposit extracellular matrix in vitro: and 5) when depleted with neutralizing murine antibodies attenuates bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis in vivo.

Sorrento was awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 1 grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which will support the development of the fully human anti-WISP1 antibodies discovered by Sorrento. The principal investigator on the SBIR grant is Sorrento's Senior Director of R&D Dr. Gunnar F. Kaufmann. He will work closely with Dr. Melanie Konigshoff at Comprehensive Pneumology Center (CPC) in Munich Germany'/>"/>

SOURCE Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc.
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