Sorrento Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: SRNE) received funding from the National Institutes of Health to advance an immunotherapy targeting WNT1-Inducible Signaling Protein-1 (WISP1) for the potential treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, which affects more than 100,000 Americans.
As this disease progresses, scarring in the lungs increases and patients gradually lose the ability to breathe, leading ultimately to death in two to five years after diagnosis. Sorrento was awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 1 grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), a division of NIH, which will support the development of the fully human anti-WISP1 antibodies discovered by Sorrento.
The principal investigator on the SBIR grant is Sorrento's Senior Director of R&D Dr. Gunnar F. Kaufmann. He will work closely with Dr. Melanie Konigshoff at Comprehensive Pneumology Center (CPC) in Munich, a widely recognized expert on developmental signaling pathways in chronic lung disease, including IPF.