The LA County Superior Court confirmed an arbitration award of US $125 million in damages, to be paid by NantPharma, a drug developer founded by Abraxis BioScience (now part of  Bristol-Myers Squibb Company) founder Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., and part of his NantWorks umbrella of nine companies, to Sorrento Therapeutics.

The award reflects the values of lost milestones for the approval of a Cynviloq® (IG-001/Nant-008), a next-generation, branded, micellar diblock copolymeric composed of methoxy poly (ethylene glycol)-poly (lactide) to form paclitaxel nanoparticle formulation free of donor derived human serum albumin (HSA).

The drug’s target indications include solid tumors such as breast, Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), ovarian, bladder and pancreatic cancers.  Cynviloq® was designe to  rapidly deliver paclitaxel to the targeted tissue via albumin-mediated transport and is currently approved and marketed in several countries as Genexol-PM® (Samyang Co., Seoul, Korea).[1]

The drug was developed by Sorrento’s subsidiary Igdrasol as an alternative to albumin-bound nab-paclitaxel (Abraxane®; Bristol-Myers Squibb Company), which, in turn, was originally developed by Abraxis BioScience, which is approved in MBC and NSCLC indications.

“We are pleased that the Court has affirmed the result of the arbitration against NantPharma and has awarded $125 million in damages to Sorrento,” noted Henry Ji, Ph.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sorrento.

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“From here, we remain focused on our important work of developing new and innovative therapies for patients struggling with cancer, intractable pain, infectious disease, and more,” Ji added.

Arbitration
The award stems from an arbitration between Sorrento and NantPharma regarding the development of Cynviloq, the rights to which NantPharma acquired from Sorrento in 2015. In 2019, Sorrento filed an arbitration demand against NantPharma, alleging that the company had failed to live up to its contractual obligations to develop Cynviloq and bring the drug to market.

On December 19, 2022, following nearly two years of discovery and an 18-day evidentiary hearing, the Honorable Faith Hochberg, whom the parties selected to preside over the Cynviloq Arbitration, awarded Sorrento $125 million in damages.

On March 16, 2023, the LA County Superior Court granted Sorrento’s motion to confirm the award, which Sorrento now intends to enforce against NantPharma.

Clinical trials
Bioequivalence Study of IG-001 Versus Nab-paclitaxel in Metastatic or Locally Recurrent Breast Cancer (TRIBECA) – NCT02064829
Study of Genexol-PM in Patients With Advanced Urothelial Cancer Previously Treated With Gemcitabine and Platinum – NCT01426126
QUILT-2.022 NANT-008 in Combination w/ 5-fluorouracil, Bevacizumab, Leucovorin & Oxaliplatin in Subjects With Pancreatic Cancer – NCT03127124

Reference
[1] Motamed K, Kim R, Yang H, Trieu V. IG-001 potential as intraperitoneal therapy for ovarian cancer. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 105th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2014 Apr 5-9; San Diego, CA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2014;74(19 Suppl):Abstract nr 5414. doi:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2014-5414

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