Sorrento Therapeutics received a two-year, $600,000 Advanced Technology Small Business Technology (STTR) fast-track grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to support development of human antibody therapeutics against Staphylococcus aureus infections, including MRSA. The Phase I grant may subsequently be followed by Phase II funding of $1 million a year for another two years.
Sorrento is exploiting its STI antibody library platform both through technology access agreements and through the in-house discovery and development of antibody therapeutics against cancer, inflammation, metabolic diseases, and infectious diseases. Lead MRSA program STI-001 is based on STI antibodies targeting bacterial auto-inducing peptides (AIPs) involved in quorum sensing, a bacterial communication process that is central to virulence.
The program hinges on quorum quenching IP licensed from The Scripps Research Institute in 2010. The same year, Sorrento received an initial Phase I grant to support the development of a Staphylococcal vaccine that targets AIPs. In July 2011 the firm received another $600,000, two-year STTR grant from NIAID to support the development of anti-AIP therapeutics and vaccines against Clostridium difficile.