SAN DIEGO, May 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. (OTCBB: SRNE; or STI) announced today that its Fast-Track Advanced Technology Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) grant (#1R42AI098182-02) from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), supporting the development of novel human antibody therapeutics to combat Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus or Staph) infections, including methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), was renewed for the second year of a two year Phase I grant award. Due to the Fast Track status of the grant, if STI meets certain milestones during this second year, STI may be awarded Phase II funding of up to $1 million per year for up to 2 additional years.
Sorrento Therapeutics' anti-MRSA program specifically targets the auto-inducing peptides (AIPs) central to the quorum sensing system of S. aureus that controls virulence factor production, including toxin production. Neutralizing these AIPs leads to a disruption of bacterial communication (quorum quenching) and suppresses Staph virulence. In January of 2010, STI obtained an exclusive license from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) to the quorum quenching technology which lays the scientific foundation for this program.
"The STI team, together with our academic collaborator Dr. Jovanka Voyich at the Montana State University, has done tremendous work in identifying and characterizing fully human anti-AIP antibodies. Our lead antibody has demonstrated significant protection in relevant infection models, including localized skin infection and lethal peritonitis. With the renewal of our anti-MRSA grant award, NIH remains supportive of funding the innovative approach of quorum quenching to tackle the serious healthcare burden of Staph infections," said Barbara Swanso
SOURCE Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc.
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