Sorrento Springs for Scripps MRSA Technology

12 January 2010 (Last Updated January 12th, 2010 18:30)

Sorrento Therapeutics has announced antibody discovery and development collaboration with the Californian Scripps Research Institute, which will allow the company exclusive access to the institute's antibody candidates based on its novel quorum sensing technology Under the agreement, S

Sorrento Therapeutics has announced antibody discovery and development collaboration with the Californian Scripps Research Institute, which will allow the company exclusive access to the institute's antibody candidates based on its novel quorum sensing technology

Under the agreement, Sorrento will obtain an exclusive worldwide license for the technology, which is being used for the prevention and treatment of Staphylococcus aureus infections, including Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA).

Using Scripps Research's quorum sensing-based technology, Sorrento Therapeutics will seek to identify fully human antibody candidates that disrupt the biological communication processes of MRSA.

Sorrento Therapeutics chief scientific officer Henry Ji said that the company is impressed by the promising animal data presented by its colleagues at Scripps Research.

"This discovery programme represents a novel approach to fighting MRSA, and we also see interference with quorum sensing as a more general approach to address the serious issue of antibiotic resistance beyond MRSA," Ji said.

Quorum sensing entails a process whereby bacteria, such as MRSA, secrete species-specific signaling peptides, which, once a critical concentration is reached, induce the activation of biological pathways including those that create virus resistance.

Using animal models and potentially lethal MRSA infections, researchers at TSRI have shown marked increases in survival by neutralising these signalling peptides through immunotherapies using either monoclonal antibodies or vaccines.