Sorrento Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: SRNE), a late-stage clinical oncology company developing treatments for cancer, has received non-dilutive funding for the preclinical development of a small molecule inhibitor targeting the oncogenic transcription factor Myc.
The Myc protein has been recognized as an important determinant of cancer metabolism and protein synthesis. It's involved as a dominant factor in most human cancers and is rarely mutated, but rather shows a "gain of function" from overexpression or gene amplification, Sorrento said in a release. Abnormal Myc activity is believed to play a substantial role in at least one out of every seven cancer deaths and is often a key factor in breast, lung, colon, hematologic and other cancers.
Sorrento was awarded a Phase 1 Small Business Technology Transfer Research grant from the National Cancer Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health. The grant will support the preclinical development of the Myc inhibitor, which interferes with the protein-protein interaction between Myc and its obligatory dimerization partner, known as Max. The inhibition prevents the sequence-specific binding to DNA and subsequent initiation of oncogenic transformation.
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