Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: SRNE) announced today that it has received a Phase I Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This peer-reviewed grant was awarded to support the Company's program to generate and develop antibody therapeutics and vaccines to combat Clostridium difficile (C. difficile or C. diff) infections by disrupting quorum sensing, a bacterial communication process believed to control virulence. The Phase I grant is for $300,000 per year for two years, with the possibility of Phase II funding of $1 million per year for up to an additional 3 years.
C. difficile is the most common cause of hospital-acquired infectious diarrhea (C. difficile-associated diarrhea or CDAD). According to the Centers for Disease Control, the annual incidence of CDAD infections in the United States is approximately 478,000 cases: 165,000 in hospitals, 50,000 post hospital discharge, and 263,000 in nursing homes. With an overall mortality rate of 6-7%, CDAD infections impose an estimated financial burden of over $3.9 billion per year on the U.S. healthcare system. The situation is worsening with the emergence of hypervirulent and multi-drug resistant forms. "It is clear that the NIH remains motivated to fund novel approaches to tackling the serious healthcare burden of C. diff. Together with our NIAID-funded program for the control of S. aureus, the Company is targeting the two most prevalent nosocomial infections in the U.S.," said Henry Ji, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer and interim Chief Executive Officer of Sorrento Therapeutics.
SOURCE Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc.