Sorrento Therapeutics and The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) entered into an antibody and vaccine development collaboration, under which Sorrento is obtaining an exclusive license to TSRI’s technologies based on ghrelin-signaling inhibition for the prevention and treatment of obesity and other metabolic disorders. Through this collaboration, Sorrento’s aim is to develop vaccines and antibody-based therapeutics to fight obesity.

A research group at TSRI led by Kim Janda, Ph.D., has developed a technology to fight obesity-exploiting antibody-mediated neutralization of the hunger-stimulating peptide hormone ghrelin. When tested on rodents, the technology reportedly demonstrated statistically significant effects including reduced food intake and body weight loss. Sorrento and Scripps believe that Sorrento’s G-MAB® antibody library technology, which was designed to facilitate rapid identification and isolation of highly specific antibody therapeutics, could be used in combination with the ghrelin peptide analogs described by the TSRI team to identify fully human antibodies for the sequestration of ghrelin-mediated appetite process. 

“This discovery program represents a novel approach to combating obesity,” said Henry Ji, Ph.D., president and CEO of Sorrento, in a statement.

Sorrento have been popping up in the news a lot lately: This past March, the biopharmaceutical firm acquired oncology drug developer Igdrasol in a deal Sorrento said would strengthen its cancer portfolio; two months later, the two newly united firms acquired exclusive EU distribution rights to Cynviloq™, a micellar paclitaxel formulation, from Samyang Biopharmaceuticals. Then, in July, Sorrento entered into an option and license agreement with B.G. Negev Technologies and Applications (the technology transfer company of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev) covering several fully human anti-hepatitis C virus antibody clones discovered in the lab of Leslie Lobel, M.D., Ph.D.

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