Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing new treatments for cancer and associated pain, has just announced it entered into an agreement, together with subsidiary TNK Therapeutics, Inc., to exclusively license the NanoVelcro Circulating Tumor Cell (CTC) profiling assay technology from CytoLumina Technologies Corp. and FetoLumina Technologies Corp. – a pair of privately-owned sister biotech companies based in Los Angeles, California. The agreed upon licenses will apply to NanoVelcro CTC assay’s indications and its line up of technologies for precision medicine diagnostics related to cellular treatments and Sorrento antibody therapeutics.
The NanoVelcro Chip is a device designed to enhance, isolate and identify CTCs in cancer patients’ sampled peripheral blood. When used with downstream molecular assays, the NanoVelcro Chip allows the characterization of isolated CTCs, which provides real-time diagnostic information as well as monitoring of disease progression. This helps physicians better tailor cancer treatment.
To accomplish this, NanoVelcro Chip makes use of antibody-coated nanostructured substrates to immobilize CTCs. Once this is done, laser capture microdissection technology isolates single cells with extreme precision to eliminate contamination from white blood cells. These isolated cells then undergo in-depth molecular characterization with mutational analysis, copy number variance, expression profiling, multi-color protein staining as well as quantification of key phospho-proteins in signal transduction networks. These complex processes can help doctors make cancer therapy much more patient-centered and effective.
“We are excited to work with Sorrento and TNK Therapeutics, as we believe our technology may harness CTC’s potential as “liquid biopsy” to overcome the challenges encountered in the conventional tumor biopsy and significantly advance the field of precision medicine. Our device has been tested with peripheral blood samples from more than 1000 cancer patients suffering from a variety of solid tumors, including breast, prostate, pancreatic, gastro-intestinal, kidney, hepatocellular, non-small cell lung cancer, and melanoma,” said Hsian-Rong Tseng, PhD, Professor of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology at University of California at Los Angeles(UCLA), faculty at the California NanoSystems Institute, Member of the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the inventor of the NanoVelcro Chip.
“Working with CytoLumina and FetoLumina and utilizing the NanoVelcro Chip technology as companion diagnostics will put Sorrento and TNK Therapeutics into a unique position in the antibody and adoptive cellular immunotherapy field,” said Dr. Henry Ji, President and CEO of Sorrento. “One of the biggest challenges in cancer therapy is that every patient’s tumor is heterogeneous and often mutates and evolves over the course of treatment. The NanoVelcro CTC assay will enable the precise identification of tumor surface antigens on individual patient’s cancer cells in a minimally invasive manner. For CTC capture on the NanoVelcro chip, we will use matching Sorrento antibodies that TNK Therapeutics will incorporate into its chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) for CAR-T or CAR.TNK therapies, thus paving the way for implementation of personalized immunotherapies.”