Sorrento and Celularity to Initiate Emergency Allogeneic Natural Killer (NK) Cell Therapy Development for Coronavirus Infection

SAN DIEGO, CA and WARREN, NJ, USA I January 29, 2020 I Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: SRNE, "Sorrento") announced it has initated a clinical and manufacturing collaboration with Celularity, Inc., a Warren, New Jersey, based clinical-stage cell therapeutics company delivering transformative allogeneic cellular therapies derived from the postpartum human placenta. The objective of the collaboration is to expand the therapeutic use of Celularity's CYNK-001, an allogeneic, off-the-shelf, placental-derived Natural Killer (NK) cell therapy, to the treatment and prevention of coronavirus infections.

NK cells are the foundation of the natural innate immune response. NK cells derived from the placenta are well tolerated, intrinsically safe and versatile, allowing potential uses across a range of organs and tissues. NK cell therapy is currently being investigated as a treatment for various liquid and solid tumors, but also has the demonstrated potential to be effective against virally infected cells.

Under the contemplated collaboration, Sorrento and Celularity would assess CYNK-001 as a potential novel therapy for the treatment and prevention of coronaviruses, focusing in particular on the newly emerged 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). In addition, Sorrento would utilize current existing capacity in its “state-of-the-art” cGMP cell therapy manufacturing facilities in San Diego, California, to supplement Celularity's new cGMP facility in Florham Park, New Jersey. The combined capacity would support the rapid scale-up and sustained production of the novel cell therapy.

Sorrento is already in contact with leading scientists and local Chinese experts to discuss the clinical validation and logistics requirements to fast-track CYNK-001 cell therapy available in China for this particularly urgent indication.

Sorrento owns 25% of Celularity and the companies have a longstanding relationship. Both companies have expressed their interest in starting clinical development efforts for anti-coronavirus allogeneic NK cell therapy immediately.

About Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. 

Sorrento is a clinical stage, antibody-centric, biopharmaceutical company developing new therapies to turn malignant cancers into manageable and possibly curable diseases. Sorrento's multimodal multipronged approach to fighting cancer is made possible by its’ extensive immuno-oncology platforms, including key assets such as fully human antibodies (“G-MAB™ library”), clinical stage immuno-cellular therapies (“CAR-T”), intracellular targeting antibodies (“iTAbs”), antibody-drug conjugates (“ADC”), and clinical stage oncolytic virus (“Seprehvir®”). 

Sorrento's commitment to life-enhancing therapies for patients is also demonstrated by our effort to advance a first-in-class (TRPV1 agonist) non-opioid pain management small molecule, resiniferatoxin (“RTX”), and ZTlido® (lidocaine topical system) 1.8% for the treatment of post-herpetic neuralgia. Resiniferatoxin is completing a phase IB trial in terminal cancer patients and a phase 1B trial in osteoarthritis patients. ZTlido® was approved by the FDA on February 28, 2018.

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SOURCE: Sorrento Therapeutics

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