In a July 6 research note, H.C. Wainwright & Co. analyst Ram Selvaraju reported the status of Sorrento Therapeutics Inc.'s (SRNE:NASDAQ) vaccine and antibody test for COVID-19.
"We continue to believe that Sorrento may be positioning itself as a leader in addressing the pandemic, with multiple potential therapeutic approaches in its pipeline," he commented.
As for its coronavirus vaccine T-VIVA-19, the California-based therapeutics developer published initial preclinical study results that Selvaraju described as "encouraging." In the trial, mice were injected intramuscularly or intravenously once with Sorrento Therapeutics' vaccine and three weeks later, received a follow-up booster shot.
The initial immunization created antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 protein in all mice within the first week of administration, and the booster enhanced those antibodies. The antibodies that developed wholly prevented virus infection, as determined via cell cultures, in 80% of the subjects.
Regarding Sorrento Therapeutics' COVID-19 antibody test COVI-TRACK, Selvaraju reported that it is currently being evaluated for emergency use authorization, which it is expected to be granted in the coming weeks. Subsequently, the biopharma will make it available for distribution to clinical testing sites around the world, leveraging its existing relationships, such as with Cardinal Health, in doing so. At the start, Sorrento expects to manufacture up to 5 million test kits per month.
Selvaraju presented five reasons why COVI-TRACK is a competitive testing solution. It produces results quickly, in about eight minutes, and detects immunoglobulin G and immunoglobulin M antibodies. The test's specificity, the ability to not generate false positives, and its sensitivity, the ability to not generate false negatives, exceed the 95% and 90% standards, respectively, when many of the existing tests "are woefully inaccurate," the analyst noted. Lastly, Sorrento has savvy and experience with antibodies, Selvaraju wrote.
The need for COVI-TRACK "is likely to be healthy" and "persist for the foreseeable future," indicated Selvaraju. As such, in the U.S. alone, the vaccine could generate $50 million-plus a year for Sorrento Therapeutics.
Selvaraju pointed out that in other recent news, the company completely prepaid both of its outstanding term loans, one for $100 million and another for $20 million. Now debt free, the biopharma should be better positioned going forward for "operational flexibility and potential strategic combinations."
H.C. Wainwright has a $24 per share 12-month price target on Buy-rated Sorrento Therapeutics; today, the stock is valued at about $7.31 per share.[NLINSERT]
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Disclosures from H.C. Wainwright & Co., Sorrento Therapeutics Inc., Company Update, July 6, 2020
Investment Banking Services include, but are not limited to, acting as a manager/co-manager in the underwriting or placement of securities, acting as financial advisor, and/or providing corporate finance or capital markets-related services to a company or one of its affiliates or subsidiaries within the past 12 months.
I, Raghuram Selvaraju, Ph.D., certify that 1) all of the views expressed in this report accurately reflect my personal views about any and all subject securities or issuers discussed; and 2) no part of my compensation was, is, or will be directly or indirectly related to the specific recommendation or views expressed in this research report; and 3) neither myself nor any members of my household is an officer, director or advisory board member of these companies.
None of the research analysts or the research analyst's household has a financial interest in the securities of Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. (including, without limitation, any option, right, warrant, future, long or short position).
As of May 31, 2020 neither the Firm nor its affiliates beneficially own 1% or more of any class of common equity securities of Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc.
Neither the research analyst nor the Firm has any material conflict of interest in of which the research analyst knows or has reason to know at the time of publication of this research report.
The research analyst principally responsible for preparation of the report does not receive compensation that is based upon any specific investment banking services or transaction but is compensated based on factors including total revenue and profitability of the Firm, a substantial portion of which is derived from investment banking services.
The firm or its affiliates received compensation from Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. for non-investment banking services in the previous 12 months.
The firm or its affiliates did receive compensation from Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. for investment banking services within twelve months before, and will seek compensation from the companies mentioned in this report for investment banking services within three months following publication of the research report.
H.C. Wainwright & Co., LLC managed or co-managed a public offering of securities for Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. during the past 12 months.
The Firm does not make a market in Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. as of the date of this research report.