Sorrento Therapeutics, a clinical stage oncology company, and NantBioScience, a majority owned subsidiary of NantWorks, have established a joint venture to focus on the development of first-in-class small molecules addressing drivers of cancer growth, including cancer stem cells. Sorrento will contribute key small molecule programs (lead inhibitors of the proto-oncogenes c-Myc, and the master metabolism regulator HIF-1 alpha, and an inducer of the tumor suppressor cytokine TRAIL) to the joint venture, which will be 60% owned by NantBioScience and 40% owned by Sorrento, and funded accordingly.
This joint venture follows on the previously announced acquisition by NantPharma of the rights to Cynviloq, a nanoparticle-based paclitaxel cytotoxic therapeutic, now renamed Nant-paclitaxel, as well as the formation of NantiBody, a joint venture focused on immunotherapeutics. Both entities are affiliated with Dr. Soon-Shiong's ecosystem of companies at NantWorks.
"Treatment of patients with cancer will require a multi-faceted approach involving chemotherapy, immunotherapy, adoptive cellular therapy and next-generation precision medicine platforms," said Soon-Shiong, NantWorks founder.
In December 2014, Sorrento and NantWorks formed a global joint venture, now called Immunotherapy Nantibody, to focus on immunotherapies for cancer.