If the current state of the market dictates that the new normal involves almost daily swings of extreme volatility, the wild activity is considered normal by investors of biotech Sorrento Therapeutics (SRNE).
Over the trailing twelve months, the cancer pain alleviation specialist has lost over 40% of its value, gained 60% back, before handing most of it back again. SRNE stock is down by 47% year-to-date.
That hasn’t deterred H.C. Wainwright’s Ram Selvaraju from backing the small–cap biotech. The analyst recently reiterated a Buy rating on Sorrento, and attached a new $24 price target, reduced from $28, due to recent share dilution. Don’t let yourself get distraught by the reduced target. The new figure still implies Sorrento could add a truly astounding 1222% to the share price over the next year. (To watch Selvaraju’s track record, click here)
So, what is behind the extremely optimistic valuation? There’s a simple answer. The company has responded to the challenge of fighting the coronavirus on several fronts, with a growing pipeline of possible treatments and vaccines. These include STI-6991, an I-Cel™ COVID-19 cellular vaccine made of replication-deficient human erythroleukemia K562 cells, ACE-MAB ACE-MAB™, a proprietary fusion protein and potential treatment of COVID-19, being developed in collaboration with China-based biopharmaceutical company, Mabpharm. It is also working with SmartPharm Therapeutics to develop a next-generation, gene-encoded antibody vaccine against COVID-19, and STI-4398 (COVIDTRAP™), a proprietary ACE2-Fc protein designed to block the SARS-CoV-2 virus from binding and infecting respiratory epithelial cells, thus effectively interrupting the viral life cycle. Impressed much? Selvaraju is.
Within the next few months, the analyst expects Sorrento to begin clinical testing with multiple programs. Selvaraju said, “We believe that the company’s coronavirus-targeted portfolio possesses various advantages stemming from its constellation-like orientation along diverse antiviral approaches. These comprise cell- and antibody based active immunotherapy and vaccination, along with antibody–based therapeutics designed to have potent direct-acting antiviral impact. From our vantage point, no other company working on addressing the pathogen responsible for the pandemic has a multimodal portfolio like this.”
On the Street, there is only one other analyst that has published a review of Sorrento over the last three months. The additional Buy rating provides the coronavirus warrior with a Moderate Buy consensus rating. The average price target reaches $22.50, and could provide investors with an incredible 1123% of upside, should the target be met in the year ahead. (See Sorrento stock analysis on TipRanks)