Sorrento Therapeutics to Present Potential “Game-Changer” Non-Viral CAR-T Technology for Autologous and Allogeneic (off-the-shelf) CAR-T Therapies

Jan 2, 2018 at 8:00 AM EST

SAN DIEGO, Jan. 02, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. (“Sorrento” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ:SRNE) announced today that Dr. Henry Ji, Chairman & CEO of Sorrento, will share recent Sorrento developments and Company information in a panel discussion of “R&D Trends: What's Changed in the Pharma Pipeline?” (Saturday, January 6th, 3:50 - 4:20 pm PST) in the upcoming “East/West CEO” conference at the Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco, CA, on January 6-7th.  During the panel discussion, Dr. Ji will present the development of a proprietary non-viral chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T technology that may fundamentally alter the way that CAR constructs can be integrated into T cells.

This novel Sorrento CAR-T technology has already been utilized preclinically to generate CD38 CAR-T and CD19 CAR-T cells. These CAR-T cells have been evaluated and compared against CAR-T cells generated using current retrovirus transduction methods. Our data suggest that the non-virally generated CAR-T cells performed similarly to retrovirally-transduced CAR-T cells with regards to CAR expression, cytokine production, and cytotoxicity against target-expressing tumor cells.

This innovative non-viral CAR-T technology may offer several potential benefits over existing virus-based technology using CAR gene-encoding lentivirus, retrovirus or adeno-associated virus (AAV) to introduce CAR constructs into healthy donor (allogeneic) or cancer patient (autologous) T cells. These potential advantages of Sorrento’s non-viral CAR-T technology include: a) site-specific integration of CAR constructs into a pre-selected locus in the T cell genome; 2) streamlined method for CAR construct production without need for laborious and time-consuming CAR-encoding virus production, release and validation processes, resulting in a shorter development timeline for IND preparation; 3) potential elimination of added burden to patients of lengthy monitoring period for the absence of replication competent virus (i.e., FDA currently requires a 15-year follow-up for patients treated with the virally transduced CAR-T cells); 4) applicability to both autologous and allogeneic CAR-T therapies; and 5)  shortened development timelines to bring new CAR-T therapies faster to patients in need.

Sorrento is planning on applying its innovative non-viral CAR-T technology to CAR-T programs for multiple hematological and solid tumor indications, including but not limited to: multiple myeloma, lymphoma, liver cancer, sarcoma, pancreatic cancer and glioma. Utilizing the vast portfolio of target-specific, fully human monoclonal antibodies discovered from its proprietary G-MAB library, Sorrento envisions the development and IND filings of multiple “next-frontier” CAR-T programs in 2018 and beyond, which will position the Company as a potential major player in the fast-growing CAR-T space of immunotherapies against cancers.  

“Building on our preclinical and clinical experience in CAR-T cell manufacturing with our “state-of-the-art” cGMP facilities, and looking at the next frontier, we are excited to share this robust development of non-viral CAR-T technology for both autologous and allogeneic CAR-T therapies.  This new “game-changer” technology may translate into faster development timelines, more cost-effective cGMP manufacturing and possible removal of the regulatory requirement to follow patients for 15 years post treatment,” stated Dr. Henry Ji. “We also have obtained preclinical data suggesting that cord blood T cells are a potentially rich and valuable “off-the-shelf” T cell source, enabling allogeneic CAR-T therapy. Working with our strategic partner, Celularity, Inc.1, Sorrento intends to develop multiple, potentially paradigm-shifting allogeneic CAR-T programs for hematological and solid tumor indications with high unmet medical need.”

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”), intracellular targeting antibodies (“iTAbs”), antibody-drug conjugates (“ADC”), and clinical stage oncolytic virus (“Seprehvir®”). 

Sorrento's commitment to life-enhancing therapies for cancer patients is also demonstrated by our effort to advance a first-in-class (TRPV1 agonist) non-opioid pain management small molecule in resiniferatoxin (“RTX”) and ZTlido. Resiniferatoxin is being studied in a phase IB trial in terminal cancer patients. ZTlido is in regulatory review following NDA re-submission.

For more information visit

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. and its subsidiaries and affiliates under the safe harbor provisions of Section 21E of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding the expectations for Sorrento's and its subsidiaries' and affiliates’ technologies and product candidates.  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' and its affiliates’ technologies and prospects; Sorrento's ability to leverage the expertise of its employees, subsidiaries, affiliates and partners to assist the company in the execution of its strategies; plans and strategy related to Sorrento’s and its subsidiaries’ and affiliates’ technologies, product candidates and clinical studies; and risks related to seeking regulatory approvals and conducting clinical trials; 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, 2016, as amended, 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

Alexis Nahama, DVM (VP Corporate Development)

Telephone: 1.858.203.4120



Sorrento® and the Sorrento logo are registered trademarks of Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc.

ZTlido™ and G-MAB™ are trademarks owned by Scilex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Sorrento, respectively.

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. 

© 2018 Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

1 TNK Therapeutics, Inc., a subsidiary of Sorrento, currently owns shares of Celularity’s Series A Preferred Stock equal to 25% of Celularity’s outstanding shares of capital stock, calculated on a fully-diluted basis.