In a Dec. 23 research note, Dawson James Securities analyst Jason Kolbert reported that Sorrento Therapeutics Inc. (SRNE:NASDAQ) submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration an emergency use application for COVI-STIX, the company's nasal swab antigen test for the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Generally, COVI-STIX yields results within 15 minutes but for patients with a high viral load, it can return a positive test in as quickly as two minutes, noted Kolbert.
He relayed, too, that Sorrento received CLIA, or Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments, certification which, in part, allows it to test clinical samples.
"Importantly, we see COVID as the beginning, with additional diagnostics in the oncology space now under development," commented Kolbert.
Also in COVID-19, following encouraging in vitro testing, the California-based biotech is about to launch the first clinical trial of STI-2020, antibodies that neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the analyst indicated. The purpose is this and subsequent studies is to evaluate the safety, pharmacokinetics and efficacy of a single injection of STI-2020 in two cohorts: healthy volunteers and outpatient COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms.
"The antibody has been engineered for what the company calls 'ultra-high potency,' with an expected effective dose in humans to be much lower than current known antibodies being assessed by others in active trials," Kolbert explained.
This means that if the trials of STI-2020 are positive, Sorrento will need significant capacity to manufacture the product. Accordingly, the company already started the process for production of 100,000 doses, so they should be available in early 2021.
Dawson James has a Buy rating and a $21 per share target price on Sorrento Therapeutics, the stock of which is trading today at about $7.04 per share.
"We have not modeled any revenues on the diagnostics side; as such, it represents upside to our model," wrote Kolbert.[NLINSERT]
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Disclosures for Dawson James Securities, Sorrento Therapeutics, December 23, 2020
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