The clinical commercial biopharma company Sorrento Therapeutics ($SRNE) is in the process of consolidating its position. In the second quarter of 2020, it decided to pre-paid early $120 million in long-term debt. This may be a sign of a merger or takeover, as a debt reduction in this form is quite special and creates a more attractive profile for potential partners. At the same time, the early payment is also instilling confidence and appears to be gearing up for something new in the pipeline.
More news may soon be released about the two major COVID testing products – COVI-TRACK and COVI-TRACE – that Sorrento is bringing to the market. It can have a major effect on the financial status of the company in the coming quarters. If the products continue to develop, this can generate a large source of income. These are easy to use, fast and inexpensive COVID-tests needed to restore the global economy.
COVI-TRACK is awaiting FDA approval for the EUA. It’s a test that can be used to check within 10 minutes whether the test person had COVID-19 and recovered. As soon as the EUA is announced, the number of current and future orders is expected to increase significantly, which could contribute to a positive share price.
COVI-TRACE is a test that can be used to check the current situation of a test subject with regard to the COVID-19 virus. Saliva can be used to determine whether the virus is present in the body within 30 minutes. This COVID-test product was acquired by Sorrento from Columbia University and is considered one of the most promising tests. This is partly due to the way in which testing is carried out, because various doctors have indicated that they are in favor of the saliva method. It indicates the test result by means of color, can be performed without advanced equipment, has no unpleasant action for the patient and has a higher accuracy.
Of course, Sorrento is not alone in producing COVID saliva-based test products. The FDA previously granted EUA approval to Saliva-Direct, manufactured by Yale’s School of Public Health. The competition is far from over, as several doctors have indicated that they are in favor of the Sorrento product. COVI-TRACE turns out to be a lot cheaper, according to a previous statement by CEO – Henry Ji – who estimates the cost per test at only $10 USD. Where the competition has a price that varies between $40 and $80 USD. This is because the COVI-TRACE can be used on location, eliminating shipping and laboratory costs. Logistically and financially this is a strong characteristic, especially as the demand for COVID-test products worldwide is growing strongly. Even more important is the time saved, because delayed sending can affect the test result. The longer it takes, the greater the chance that COVID-19 can continue to spread. Researchers agree that billions of tests will be needed over the next few years to meet the standards required of a world we know from before the pandemic.
Previous press releases indicate that Saliva-Direct’s test results are incomplete. The COVI-TRACE achieves a score of 97% -100% for sensitivity and specificity, while the numbers of Yale are still missing. This can explain why they have entered the market more quickly. The accuracy figures have been withheld from the consumer, so there is no guarantee that the test product will actually work. It will not be the first company to show disappointing results with a COVID-test product. Sorrento thus has a strong market position by being transparent towards the consumer. It’s professionally executed, affordable, fast and has test results that demonstrate high accuracy. Essential advantages over Saliva-Direct that keep medical professionals waiting for the FDA approval.
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