Since its establishment in 2009, Sorrento Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:SRNE) has had a long journey of discovering diversified therapies for managing cancer and possibly curable diseases. The company has put together a unique and unrivaled portfolio, which includes bispecific antibodies, immune checkpoint inhibitors, and antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) among others. All these have demonstrated an abundant promise in their respective performances. They have great potential for resolving some of the most difficult cancer challenges.
However, the company has now turned some of its attention to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through a merger agreement, the biopharma has acquired SmartPharm. The duo will work together to accelerate the development of antibody-centric therapeutics, including those for COVID-19 and other rare diseases.
The Use of Extensive immuno-oncology Platforms to Fight Cancer
SmartPharm develops non-viral DNA and RNA gene delivery platforms for COVID-19. As a gene-encoded therapeutics company, it has a broad potential and focuses on next-generation, non-viral gene therapies. The company’s vision is to create “Biologics from Within.”
On the other hand, Sorrento has been using a multipronged approach to fight cancer. This has been enhanced by extensive immuno-oncology platforms such as fully human antibodies (“G-MAB™ library”), and clinical-stage oncolytic virus (“Seprehvir™”), among others. G-MAB has the potential to be the next cost-effective engine in vivo production of antibody therapeutics.
However, the two companies have previously had a research and development collaboration for Sorrento’s proprietary SARS-CoV-2.
Dedication of Resources in Countering COVID-19
The emergence of the deadly coronavirus has dented hundreds of economies, including those thought to be the most powerful. Many businesses and livelihoods have been crippled, and so are health systems. Unfortunately, and despite its rapid spread, there is still no known cure for it as the pharmaceutical industry continues to pursue various studies and potential vaccine candidates.
Nonetheless, hundreds of companies have dedicated millions of resources in the development of multiple countermeasures against the pandemic. The CEO of SmartPharm Therapeutics, Jose Trevejo, says, ”…This merger should help accelerate our gene-encoded antibody platform technology (Gene Mab) with the ultimate goal of helping patients affected by this global pandemic as well as other diseases.”