Sorrento Inks Potential $1.3 Bn Deal for Nano Paclitaxel
The pharmaceutical company, Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc., has agreed to sell the rights to Cynviloq (paclitaxel nanoparticle polymeric micelle) for up to $1.3 billion to NantPharma, a pharmaceutical company founded by Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, founder of Abraxis BioScience and inventor and developer of the cancer drug, Abraxane (albumin-bound paclitaxel). NantPharma is a member of the NantWorks group of companies and has agreed to acquire the rights to Cynviloq through the acquisition of Igdrasol, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Sorrento. Under the agreement, Sorrento will receive more than $90 million in an up-front cash payment plus the potential for more than $600 million in regulatory and $600 million in sales milestone payments. Sorrento will also receive additional transfer pricing payments from total unit sales. Furthermore, Sorrento has the option to co-develop and/or co-market Cynviloq on terms to be negotiated.
Sorrento specializes in developing new treatments for cancer and associated pain. In addition to Cynviloq, Sorrento has a clinical-stage asset, resiniferatoxin, a non-opiate TRPV1 agonist currently in a Phase I/II study at the National Institutes of Health to treat terminal cancer patients suffering from intractable pain.
In December 2014, Sorrento and NantWorks formed a global joint venture, called NANTibody, to focus on immunotherapies for cancer. Also in December 2014, Sorrento and Conkwest, Inc., a privately held immuno-oncology company developing proprietary Neukoplast, a natural killer (NK) cell-line based therapy, entered into an agreement to jointly develop CAR.TNK (Chimeric Antigen Receptor Tumor-attacking Neukoplast) immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. In March 2015, Sorrento entered into a global collaboration with NantCell, a NantWorks company, to discover and develop immunotherapies against tumor neo-epitopes.