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Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: SRNE, “Sorrento”) announced today that The Texas A&M University System (“TAMUS”) has exercised an exclusive license to develop and commercialize highly potent protease (MPro) globally. -Inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 and all current and emerging varieties of concern (VOCs). Sorrento and TAMUS announced the signing of the option agreement on August 24 and 25, respectively:


Sorrento’s decision to exercise its option immediately is based on promising preclinical data for the lead compound MPI8, which has highly potent broad spectrum antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 and all major Variants of Concern (VoCs) (Alpha, Beta, Delta and Gamma). Based on initial in vitro data, MPI8 demonstrated superior antiviral activity in a direct comparison with a current phase 3 study of oral antiviral agents (EIDD2801). Based on the Plague Reduction Neutralization Test (PRNT) IC50 data from live viruses infecting Vero E6 cells, MPI8 showed about ten times (10x) higher antiviral activity than EIDD-2801 against SARS-CoV-2 and its alpha ( UK) and Delta (Indian) VoCs and three to seven times (3-7x) higher antiviral effectiveness against Beta (South Africa, 3x) and Gamma (Brazil / Japan, 6-7x) VoCs.

Sorrento expects to complete additional preclinical studies in the coming weeks, including a head-to-head comparison with other late-stage clinical candidates, and will publish its preliminary results in a pre-print publication.

About Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc.

Sorrento is a clinical and commercial stage biopharmaceutical company developing new therapies to treat cancer, pain (non-opioid treatments), autoimmune diseases, and COVID-19. Sorrento’s multimodal, multi-pronged approach to cancer control is enabled by its extensive immuno-oncology platforms, including key assets such as fully human antibodies (“G-MAB ™ Library”), Immunocellular Therapies (“DAR-T ™”), antibody drug -Conjugates (“ADCs”) and oncolytic viruses (“Seprehvec ™”). Sorrento is also developing potential antiviral therapies and vaccines against coronaviruses, including abivertinib, COVIGUARD ™, COVI-AMG ™, COVISHIELD ™, COVI-MSC ™ and COVIDROPS ™; and diagnostic test solutions, including COVITRACK ™, COVISTIX ™, and COVITRACE ™.

Sorrento’s commitment to life-enhancing therapies for patients is also reflected in our efforts to provide a world-class (TRPV1 agonist) low molecular weight non-opioid pain reliever resiniferatoxin (“RTX”) and SP-102 (10 mg, Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate Viscous Gel) ( SEMDEXA ™), a novel, viscous gel formulation of a widely used corticosteroid for epidural injections to treat lumbosacral radicular pain or sciatica and to commercialize ZTlido® (topical lidocaine system) 1.8% for the treatment of post-therapeutic neuralgia. RTX has completed a Phase IB study in persistent pain-related cancer and a Phase 1 B study in osteoarthritis patients. SEMDEXA is in a pivotal phase 3 study for the treatment of lumbosacral radicular pain or sciatica. ZTlido® was approved by the FDA on February 28, 2018.

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