Sorrento Therapeutics: SmartPharm Therapeutics & Abivertinib Acquisition
Updated: Jul 27, 2020
Sorrento Therapeutics has been making some key acquisitions of late. Most recently, Sorrento Therapeutics acquired the rights to distribute Abivertinib outside of China, followed by a letter of intent to acquire SmartPharm Therapeutics. What do these acquisitions mean for Sorrento as a whole?
Let's start with Abivertinib. Danielle Ternyila mentions "Abivertinib, a novel small TKI, selectively targets both mutant forms of EGFR and BTK. By irreversibly binding to the BTK receptor, the agent prevents the phosphorylation of the receptor. It has shown potent immunomodulatory activities in vitro by inhibiting key pro-inflammatory cytokine production, which includes IL-1beta, IL-6, and TNF-alpha. These cytokines have been associated with cytokine release syndrome, as well as cytokine storm and disease progression of COVID-19, which is also associated with poor outcomes in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome. Because the agent targets multiple cytokines at once, the company anticipates that abivertinib will be incremental to the initial findings that have been published by others for IL-6 inhibitors as treatment of COVID-19 in clinical trials. Due to the broader range of anti-cytokine activity, the company expects the clinical benefits to be more pronounced."(7/21/2020) The trials are expected to enroll 80 patients in a double blinded randomized study. Abivertinib adds a tremendous value to Sorrento as many of the drugs being used to treat Covid 19 are cancer drugs, and deal with trying to either prevent or stop a Cytokine Storm. This further rounds off Sorrento's pipeline to treat Covid 19 as a "Whole of Therapeutic Approach".
The acquisition of SmartPharm Therapeutics is another strategic move Sorrento has made of late. Before this letter of intent, SmartPharm Therapeutics and Sorrento Therapeutics had partnered to work on the viral gene therapeutic approach, which makes this move to acquire SmartPharm indicative that they have found success in this method for the virus. This acquisition will lock down the last components needed in order to control various aspects from delivery, antibody half life, and being able to modify antibodies for mutations of the virus. I have attached a link to the Gene Therapy Net website. On this site you can learn more about gene therapy, and viral vectors. The site has great diagrams and very easy to understand. Major news is on the horizon for Sorrento Therapeutics as the next 8 weeks will be jam packed with clinical trials, EUA approval(COVI-TRACK), potential federal funding, and many more catalyst that I will be blogging about soon!
Don't forget to register for the Disease Prevention & Control Summit-America. Dr. Ji will be presenting in front of the FDA, CDC, and many potential Big Pharma partners. Use the link below the photo and scroll through all the attendees. Time for Dr. Ji to step up to the mound and deliver the presentation of his life! Ok, I got a little carried away there, but you get what I mean.