Sorrento Teams with Mayo Clinic and Gets UK Approval for Phase 2 Trial for COVI-DROPS; Shares Roar 5%


Shares of the biopharmaceutical company Sorrento Therapeutics (SRNE) jumped 5.1% in Friday’s extended trading session after the company inked a research collaboration agreement with Mayo Clinic. The company also received U.K. authorization for its Phase 2 Trial for its COVI-DROPS candidate in newly diagnosed SARS-CoV-2 infected patients.

Per the agreement with Mayo Clinic, the research will involve human proof of concept studies of the Sofusa Lymphatic Drug Delivery System technology across a range of products and conditions.

Sofusa is a drug delivery platform with the potential to improve the efficacy and safety of immuno-oncology therapies. It delivers biologic therapies to patients through the skin and helps in sending medicines directly into the lymphatic system. (See SRNE stock analysis on TipRanks)

Sorrento recently licensed Mayo Clinic’s proprietary Antibody-Drug-Nanoparticle albumin-bound Immune Complex platform technology.

Sorrento CEO and President Henry Ji commented, “Both of these agreements are part of our strategic focus to combine potent antibodies from our G-MAB library with next-generation therapeutic platform technologies to deliver unparalleled safety and efficacy.”

COVI-DROPS are intranasal drops containing antibodies that are active against the original SARS-CoV-2 virus, as well as the UK/Alpha and India/Delta variants, currently prevalent in the UK and US.

The regulatory agency Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) cleared the study in less than a month from the date of submission. The application was supported by a preceding study done in the U.S. that showed there were no serious adverse effects.

The company plans to combine the results of the Phase 2 trial in the U.K. with the results of the U.S. and Mexico Phase 2 trials. Once the results of these studies prove safety and efficacy against SARS-CoV-2, Sorrento will send an application for Emergency Use Authorization in the U.S., India, U.K., Mexico, and European Union, as well as other territories.

H.C. Wainwright analyst Ram Selvaraju recently reiterated a Buy rating with the price target of $30 (238.2% upside potential) on the stock.

Selvaraju believes that Sorrento’s clinical-stage pipeline looks very different from its biotech peers, supported by the company’s visible expertise across a wide range of technologies and modalities.

Overall, the stock has a Strong Buy consensus rating based on 3 unanimous Buys. The SRNE average analyst price target of $25 implies 181.9% upside potential from current levels.

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