Sorrento Therapeutics Enters into Antibody and Vaccine Development Alliance for the Prevention and Treatment of Obesity

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: SRNE; Sorrento) announced today that it has entered into an antibody and vaccine development collaboration with The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) of La Jolla, CA. Under the terms of the agreement, Sorrento obtains an exclusive, worldwide license to TSRI's novel technologies based on ghrelin signaling inhibition for the prevention and treatment of obesity and other metabolic disorders.

A research group at TSRI, led by Dr. Kim Janda, has pioneered innovative technology to combat obesity exploiting antibody-mediated neutralization of ghrelin, a hunger-stimulating peptide hormone and an integral component of the food intake regulation circuit. Dr. Janda's group has demonstrated statistically significant effects, such as reduced food intake and body weight loss, in rodents. The scientific articles detailing these studies were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)1,2 and Molecular Pharmaceutics3. The ghrelin peptide analogs described by the TSRI team represent a unique opportunity for Sorrento to utilize its proprietary G-MAB® antibody library technology to identify fully human antibodies for the sequestration of ghrelin-mediated appetite process. Sorrento intends to develop vaccines and antibody-based therapeutics to fight obesity.

"Our colleagues at TSRI have presented promising animal data and we are pleased to collaborate on the development of human vaccines and fully human antibody therapeutics to help address this important public health issue. This discovery program represents a novel approach to combating obesity," said Dr. Henry Ji, President and CEO of Sorrento.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), metabolic disorders, including obesity, are a growing healthcare concern. During the past twenty years there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States. Approximately 36% of adults and 17% of children and adolescents in the United States are obese. Approximately 87 million people above the age of 20 in the United States are obese. This is expected to exceed 110 million over the next 10 years. Significant co-morbidities are associated with obesity, including a higher risk for hypertension, type 2 diabetes, coronary artery disease, stroke, lipid problems, gallbladder disease, osteoporosis, respiratory problems, and certain cancers. The American Institute for Cancer Research estimates that each year 100,000 cases of cancer in the United States are attributable to obesity.

"We have published that antibodies targeting the ghrelin-mediated appetite process are effective in reducing body weight in established animal models," said Dr. Kim Janda, the Ely R. Callaway Professor in Chemistry at TSRI and a member of the Board of Directors for Sorrento. "Sorrento's antibody library will be a critical resource in identifying fully human antibodies that could be developed into clinical therapeutics to tackle the obesity problem worldwide."

About The Scripps Research Institute's Anti-Ghrelin Technology

Appetite, hunger and food intake are regulated by a complex network of signaling pathways, such as the ghrelin peptide hormone circuit. Using animal models of obesity, researchers at TSRI have shown marked decrease in food intake and subsequently body weight by neutralizing ghrelin through immunotherapies using either monoclonal antibodies or vaccines. For more information on TSRI's obesity research, please visit the TSRI website at http://www.scripps.edu/discover/diabetes.html.

About The Scripps Research Institute

The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) is one of the world's largest independent, not-for-profit organizations focusing on research in the biomedical sciences. TSRI is internationally recognized for its contributions to science and health, including its role in laying the foundation for new treatments for cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, hemophilia, and other diseases. An institution that evolved from the Scripps Metabolic Clinic founded by philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps in 1924, the institute now employs about 3,000 people on its campuses in La Jolla, CA, and Jupiter, FL, where its renowned scientists—including three Nobel laureates—work toward their next discoveries. The institute's graduate program, which awards PhD degrees in biology and chemistry, ranks among the top ten of its kind in the nation. For more information, see www.scripps.edu.

About Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc.

Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. is a publicly-traded, development-stage biopharmaceutical company engaged in the acquisition, discovery, development and commercialization of proprietary drug therapeutics for addressing significant unmet medical needs. Sorrento's therapeutic focus is oncology, including the treatment of chronic cancer pain, but is also developing therapeutic products for inflammation, metabolic, and infectious diseases. Sorrento's proprietary G-MAB® fully-human antibody library platform was designed to facilitate the rapid identification and isolation of highly specific antibody therapeutics. In addition, Sorrento is developing proprietary Antibody Drug Conjugates as well as Antibody formulated Drug Conjugates combining its G-MAB® antibodies with anti-tumor agents.

More information is available at www.sorrentotherapeutics.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Words such as "assumes," "plans," "believes," "expects," "anticipates," and "will," and similar expressions, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include statements about the preclinical and clinical development of Sorrento's human antibody therapeutics. All such forward-looking statements are based on Sorrento's current beliefs and expectations, and should not be regarded as a representation by Sorrento that any of its plans will be achieved. Actual results may differ materially from those set forth in this press release due to the risks and uncertainties inherent in Sorrento's businesses; the potential for approval and commercial success of Cynviloq; the scope and validity of patent protection for Sorrento's platform technologies, and the risk that the development or commercialization of product candidates may infringe the intellectual property rights of others; the potential that Sorrento may require substantial additional funding in order to obtain regulatory approval for and commercialize Sorrento's proprietary G-MAB® fully-human antibody library platform technologies or product candidates; and additional risks set forth in Sorrento's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements represent Sorrento Therapeutics' judgment as of the date of this release. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement and Sorrento undertakes no obligation to revise or update this press release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof. This caution is made under the safe harbor provisions of Section 21E of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  

SOURCE Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc.



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