Leading the Way in Life Science Technologies

GEN Exclusives

More »

GEN News Highlights

More »
Jul 29, 2011

Sorrento Wins Second NIAID Grant of $600K to Develop Quorum Quenching Antibacterial

  • Sorrento Therapeutics has been awarded a $600,000 Phase I small business technology transfer research (STTR) grant from NIAID to fund development of antibody therapeutics and vaccines against Clostridium difficile infections that disrupt the organism’s quorum sensing communication process. The grant will be split equally over two years and could lead to the award of a three-year, $3 million Phase II award, the firm states.  

    Sorrento has an exclusive license to Scripps Research Institute technology that targets specific auto-inducing peptides (AIP) that are central pathogen virulence. The platform is being combined with the firm’s human antibody library platform for the development of anti-infective candidates.

    Sorrento claims the Quorum Quenching (QQ) approach has two major features that distinguish it from other antibacterial approaches. Firstly, rather than attempting to directly eliminate infecting bacteria, the QQ approach is designed to modulate the global virulence of the invading pathogens, allowing the bacteria to be cleared by the host’s immune system.

    Secondly, the species specific AIP targets are mutationally constrained, making them ideal targets for therapeutic intervention: although required for virulence, the AIPs are not essential for bacterial viability and growth, which means there is less selective pressure for the generation of resistance, the firm explains.

    Sorrento’s lead QQ program, STI-001, is focused on developing fully human mAbs against MRSA. The project is also being funded by a $600,000 STTR Phase I grant from the NIAID. The second year’s tranche of $300,000 was received at the beginning of July.



Related content

Be sure to take the GEN Poll

Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

More »