Sorrento, TNK Therapeutics to exclusively license NanoVelcro CTC assay from CytoLumina and FetoLumina

Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: SRNE; Sorrento) announced today that it as well as its wholly-owned subsidiary TNK Therapeutics, Inc. have entered into a binding term sheet to exclusively license the NanoVelcro Circulating Tumor Cell (CTC) profiling assay technology from CytoLumina Technologies Corp. and FetoLumina Technologies Corp., two privately-held sister biotechnology companies in Los Angeles, California. The exclusive licenses will cover the applications of the NanoVelcro CTC assay and its portfolio technologies for precision medicine diagnostics in conjunction with all cellular therapies and Sorrento antibody therapeutics.

The NanoVelcro Chip is a device capable of enriching, isolating, and identifying CTCs from peripheral blood of cancer patients. Coupled with downstream molecular assays, it enables the characterization of individually isolated CTCs, thus providing diagnostic information for the monitoring of real-time disease progression and tailoring individualized therapy solutions for cancer patients. The NanoVelcro Chip utilizes antibody-coated nanostructured substrates to capture CTCs with high efficiency. Once the CTCs are immobilized on the NanoVelcro Chips, laser capture microdissection technology allows for selective recovery of the CTCs with single-cell precision, virtually eliminating any trace of contamination from white blood cells that might complicate further downstream analysis. Finally, the isolated and purified CTCs are subjected to in-depth molecular characterization, including mutational analysis, copy number variance, expression profiling, multi-color protein staining as well as quantification of key phospho-proteins in signal transduction networks. These CTC-derived molecular signatures may help doctors to implement personalized therapies targeting a patient's unique cancer.

"We are excited to work with Sorrento and TNK Therapeutics, as we believe our technology may harness CTC's potential as "liquid biopsy" to overcome the challenges encountered in the conventional tumor biopsy and significantly advance the field of precision medicine. Our device has been tested with peripheral blood samples from more than 1000 cancer patients suffering from a variety of solid tumors, including breast, prostate, pancreatic, gastro-intestinal, kidney, hepatocellular, non-small cell lung cancer, and melanoma," said Hsian-Rong Tseng, PhD, Professor of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology at University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), faculty at the California NanoSystems Institute, Member of the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the inventor of the NanoVelcro Chip.

"Working with CytoLumina and FetoLumina and utilizing the NanoVelcro Chip technology as companion diagnostics will put Sorrento and TNK Therapeutics into a unique position in the antibody and adoptive cellular immunotherapy field," said Dr. Henry Ji, President and CEO of Sorrento. "One of the biggest challenges in cancer therapy is that every patient's tumor is heterogeneous and often mutates and evolves over the course of treatment. The NanoVelcro CTC assay will enable the precise identification of tumor surface antigens on individual patient's cancer cells in a minimally invasive manner. For CTC capture on the NanoVelcro chip, we will use matching Sorrento antibodies that TNK Therapeutics will incorporate into its chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) for CAR-T or CAR.TNK therapies, thus paving the way for implementation of personalized immunotherapies."


Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc.


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