Bullish options flow was detected in SRNE stock in early trading on June 25, 2020. A large call sweep order valued at $30.9K was detected. The call options contract had a $6 strike with a July 17, 2020 expiration. 206 contracts were purchased at the ask for $1.50.
Buying in SRNE stock is part of a pattern we are seeing of money flowing out of reopening stocks and going back into coronavirus related stocks.
The last major news story was that on June 10, 2020, Sorrento Therapeutics announced that an Application for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) is under review at the FDA for its COVI-TRACKTM in vitro diagnostic test kit for the independent detection of IgG and IgM antibodies in sera of patients exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The rapid antibody test allows for results to be available in eight minutes or less. The easy to use assay develops three clear lines that confirm the assay validity and the qualitative detection and differentiation of IgM and IgG antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Analytical validation was performed by testing sample cohorts from healthy donors and confirmed positive COVID-19 patient samples by RT-PCR testing, and the assay demonstrated a specificity greater than 97% and diagnostic sensitivity of greater than 94%. Upon issuance of an EUA, the COVI-TRACK test will be available for distribution to clinical testing sites nationwide. Sorrento has secured manufacturing capacity to support the production of up to five million test kits per month.
On June 5, 2020, Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: SRNE, “Sorrento”) announced it completed a preclinical batch of the STI-4398 (COVIDTRAP) protein and is reporting the positive results from preclinical testing of its ability to neutralize and inhibit SARS-CoV-2 virus from infecting ACE2-expressing cells, VERO/E6.
Since the beginning of the year, Sorrento has embarked on a multipronged strategy to search for and develop potent antidotes to the SARS-CoV-2 virus of COVID-19. Sorrento previously announced on May 15, 2020 that it had identified a neutralizing antibody, STI-1499, that demonstrated 100% inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 virus infection in an in vitro infection experiment at a low concentration. Sorrento believes STI-1499 could be a potent antidote for COVID-19 pending successful demonstration of its safety and efficacy in pre-clinical and clinical studies.
Consistent with the ambition outlined above in searching for and developing potential COVID-19 antidotes, Sorrento previously announced on March 20, 2020 that it had designed and produced its STI-4398 product candidate, a proprietary ACE2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme 2)-Fc fusion protein (COVIDTRAP), as a binding protein to the spike protein of the SARS-Cov-2 virus. The goal of STI-4398 is to produce a soluble SARS-CoV-2 virus-binding decoy receptor protein that binds to the spike protein and blocks the interaction of the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus with the ACE2 receptors present on the target respiratory epithelial cells. Sorrento is now reporting that in an in vitro assay, STI-4398 completely inhibited the ability of SARS-CoV-2 virus to infect VERO/E6 cells at a low concentration.
Sorrento has discussed with the Food and Drug Administration the development of this drug candidate and has received guidance on the path forward to a clinical trial for STI-4398, COVIDTRAP, for both the potential treatment of infected patients and as a potential prophylactic treatment to COVID-19.
“STI-4398 COVIDTRAP protein and STI-1499 neutralizing antibody have shown efficacy in an in vitro cellular infection model for SARS-CoV-2 established in our laboratory and these results justify now the progression into animal studies. We are planning to submit all preclinical data for scientific publication in the next two to three months,” stated Dr. Slobodan Paessler, DVM, PhD, Professor in the Department of Pathology, John S. Dunn Distinguished Chair in Biodefense and Scientific Director of the Animal Biosafety Laboratory 3 at the Galveston National Laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch, whose lab conducted the in vitro viral infection tests for both STI-1499 and STI-4398.
“Our researchers and manufacturing scientists have worked tirelessly to bring COVIDTRAP through preclinical profiling to the brink of clinical trials. We look forward to evaluating the safety and efficacy of STI-4398 in clinical trials and, assuming receipt of all requisite approvals, ultimately manufacturing this potentially life-saving compound as a potent anti-COVID-19 antidote available in the armamentarium of physicians fighting the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated Dr. Henry Ji, Chairman and CEO of Sorrento Therapeutics.
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