Sorrento Therapeutics received two small business grants from the NIH to fund the development of bispecific antibodies for two of its antibacterial immunotherapies. Both awards are from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a division of the NIH.
One of those NIAID awards is a Phase II Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) grant to support the advanced preclinical development of human bispecific antibody therapeutics to prevent and treat Staphylococcus aureus infections, including methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). Sorrento says its anti-MRSA program specifically targets auto-inducing peptides central to the quorum-sensing system of S. aureus that controls toxin production. The funds available under this grant are approximately $1 million per year for up to two years. Jovanka Voyich, Ph.D., at Montana State University is the academic partner for this grant.
The other award is a Phase I STTR grant entitled “Anti-Pseudomonas Immunotherapy and Targeted Drug Delivery”, which will support the preclinical development of anti-Pseudomonas aeruginosa mAb immunotherapy or an antibody-mediated targeted antibiotic delivery vehicle. The funds available under this grant are approximately $300,000 per year for up to two years. Daniel Wozniak, Ph.D., at Ohio State University is this grant's academic partner.
“While Sorrento's main focus is bringing the clinical stage oncology asset Cynviloq™ and resiniferatoxin (RTX) into the market as quickly as possible, nondilutive funding from the NIH allows us to explore innovative therapies for unmet medical needs such as multiple drug resistant bacterial infections.” Henry Ji, Ph.D., the firm's president and CEO, said in a statement. “Together with our academic collaborators Dr. Voyich and Dr. Wozniak, we will develop much needed antibacterial therapies against drug-resistant Gram-negative and Gram-positive pathogens.”