Sorrento and The University of Texas medical branch at Galveston enter into preclinical testing agreement for COVID-19 therapeutic candidates

SAN DIEGO, March 31, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: SRNE, "Sorrento"), announced it has entered into a research testing agreement with The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston for the preclinical testing of Sorrento’s COVID-19 therapeutic product candidates. Dr. Slobodan Paessler, DVM, Ph.D., John S. Dunn Distinguished Chair in Biodefense and scientific director of the Animal Biosafety Laboratory 3 at the Galveston National Laboratory, will be supervising the research.

The work will be performed in Dr. Paessler’s laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), one of only two maximum containment laboratories on a university campus in the United States and one of just a few such Biosafety Level 4 (BSL4) laboratories currently operating in the U.S. Dr. Paessler specializes in viral pathogenesis and therapeutic agent development, and he and Dr. Cheng Huang’s laboratory most recently obtained a COVID-19 viral isolate and have established the infection cell model for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Dr. Henry Ji, CEO and Chairman of Sorrento, stated, “Dr. Paessler is a world-renowned expert in infectious diseases and the development of animal models to test new therapeutic candidates, and his team has direct access to one of the few high containment laboratories in the country. We are committed to advancing Sorrento’s proprietary COVID-19 product candidates as quickly and safely as possible with the hope that they can offer effective, life-saving care to patients and healthcare providers worldwide.”

Sorrento is currently conducting preclinical development of multiple therapeutic candidates to treat COVID-19 across its proprietary platforms, including natural killer (NK) cell therapies, neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) and soluble recombinant fusion protein traps (COVIDTRAPTM) to potentially inhibit the binding of SARS-CoV-2’s spike protein with host ACE2 receptors, thereby potentially preventing viral cell entry. SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19.

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”, “DAR-T”), intracellular targeting antibodies (“iTAbs”), antibody-drug conjugates (“ADC”), and clinical stage oncolytic virus (“Seprehvir®”). Sorrento is also developing potential coronavirus antiviral therapies, including COVIDTRAP™, ACE-MABTM and COVI-CellTM.

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 for intractable pain associated with cancer and a phase 1B trial in osteoarthritis patients. ZTlido® was approved by the FDA on February 28, 2018.

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About the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB)

Texas' first academic health center opened its doors in 1891 and today has four campuses, four health sciences schools, four institutes for advanced study, a research enterprise that includes one of only two national laboratories dedicated to the safe study of infectious threats to human health, a Level 1 Trauma Center and a health system offering a full range of primary and specialized medical services throughout the Texas Gulf Coast region. UTMB is an institution in the University of Texas System and a member of the Texas Medical Center.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release and any statements made for and during any presentation or meeting contain forward-looking statements related to Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc., under the safe harbor provisions of Section 21E of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding the preclinical testing of Sorrento’s COVID-19 therapeutic product candidates; the safety and efficacy of Sorrento’s COVID-19 therapeutic product candidates; the therapeutic potential of Sorrento’s COVID-19 therapeutic product candidates for SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 disease; and Sorrento’s potential position in the vaccine industry. Risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially and adversely from those expressed in our forward-looking statements, include, but are not limited to: risks related to Sorrento's and its subsidiaries', affiliates’ and partners’ technologies and prospects and collaborations with partners, including, but not limited to risks related to conducting pre-clinical trials and seeking IND regulatory approval for Sorrento’s COVID-19 therapeutic product candidates; conducting and receiving results of clinical trials for Sorrento’s COVID-19 therapeutic product candidates; the clinical and commercial success of Sorrento’s COVID-19 therapeutic product candidates against SARS-CoV-2 virus infections; the viability and success of using Sorrento’s COVID-19 therapeutic product candidates in anti-viral therapeutic areas, including coronaviruses; clinical development risks, including risks in the progress, timing, cost, and results of clinical trials and product development programs; risk of difficulties or delays in obtaining regulatory approvals; risks that clinical study results may not meet any or all endpoints of a clinical study and that any data generated from such studies may not support a regulatory submission or approval; risks of manufacturing and supplying drug product; risks related to leveraging the expertise of its employees, subsidiaries, affiliates and partners to assist the company in the execution of its COVID-19 therapeutic product candidates strategies; risks related to Sorrento’s debt obligations; risks related to the global impact of COVID-19; and other risks that are described in Sorrento's most recent periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Sorrento's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, and subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the risk factors set forth in those filings. Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this release and we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement in this press release except as required by law.

Media and Investor Relations

Contact: Alexis Nahama, DVM (SVP Corporate Development)

Telephone: 1.858.203.4120


Sorrento® and the Sorrento logo are registered trademarks of Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc.
G-MAB™, COVIDTRAP™, ACE-MABTM, I-CellTM and COVI-CellTM are trademarks of Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc.
ZTlido® is a trademark owned by Scilex Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Seprehvir® is a registered trademark of Virttu Biologics Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of TNK Therapeutics, Inc. and part of the group of companies owned by Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc.

All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

© 2020 Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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