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Sorrento Therapeutics Rips Higher, Coronavirus Antibody Shows 100% Inhibition In Experiment

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Sorrento Therapeutics Rips Higher, Coronavirus Antibody Shows 100% Inhibition In Experiment

Editor's note: the headline and story have been updated with information from a Sorrento Therapeutics press release. 

Sorrento Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: SRNE), which received a takeover bid early this year, is in the spotlight yet again.

A Potential Coronavirus Antibody 

Confirming a Fox News report, Sorrento said its anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody, STI-1499, demonstrated 100% inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 virus infection in an in vitro virus infection experiment at a very low antibody concentration. The company said the antibody was identified after meticulous two-step screening.

The company is planning to develop STI-1499 as the first antibody in the COVI-SHIELD cocktail it is developing and also as a standalone therapy. Sorrento also said its cGMP antibody manufacturing facility in San Diego can likely produce up to 200,000 doses per month, and the company intends to produce 1 million doses at risk even as it seeks FDA approval.

"Our STI-1499 antibody shows exceptional therapeutic potential and could potentially save lives following receipt of necessary regulatory approvals. We at Sorrento are working day and night to complete the steps necessary to get this product candidate approved and available to the waiting public," Dr. Henry Ji, chairman and CEO of Sorrento, said in a statement. 

Following the confirmation, the stock was soaring 151.72% to $6.60.

Flurry of Updates On Coronavirus Drugs

Sorrento announced March 20 it is developing STI-4398 – COVIDTRAP protein – for the potential prevention and treatment of COVID-19. Subsequently, the company announced a partnership with SmartPharm Therapeutics to develop a next-generation, gene-encoded antibody vaccine for COVID-19.

It also announced a collaboration with China-based antibody biopharmaceutical company, Mabpharm Limited for the clinical development and commercialization of the ACE-MAB fusion protein for the treatment of COVID-19.

In late March, the company said it is working on a novel decoy cellular vaccine for COVID-19, codenamed STI-6691 and added it is in discussions with the FDA regarding IND-enabling studies.

Later, the company announced a partnership with the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston for the preclinical testing of its COVID-19 therapeutic product candidates.

Last week, the company said it is working with the Mount Sinai Health System for the investigation and development of an antibody cocktail, named COVI-SHIELD, to potentially treat COVID-19.

Given the active scouting for a potential cure, it is likely the company has shortlisted a candidate. It emains to be seen if the company's claims of efficacy and accelerated timeline prove to be true.

Sorrento shares gap-opened Friday's session higher on the report and have gained further.

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