What happened?

On Wednesday evening, Sorrento Therapeutics (NASDAQ:SRNE) announced that the Food and Drug Administration was reviewing the company's application for Emergency Use Authorization for its COVID-19 diagnostic test. As a result, Sorrento's shares jumped on Thursday morning and were up by 5.1% as of 12:24 p.m. EDT today.

So what

Testing has been crucial to the efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, and several companies have managed to create test kits that are highly accurate and easy to use. Sorrento is looking to launch its own COVID-19 test. The biotech company claims that its COVI-TRACK in-vitro diagnostic kit can detect antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19 in eight minutes or less.

Hand drawing upward pointing graph.

Image source: Getty Images.

Even if approved, though, this test will face stiff competition. Other companies such as Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) and Roche Holding (OTC:RHHBY) have been providing the public with COVID-19 test kits for several weeks, and some of these tests (like Abbott's ID Now COVID-19 antibody test) can return positive results in as little as five minutes.

Now what

Sorrento has attracted a lot of attention of late. In particular, the company famously claimed that it had a potential cure for COVID-19, an antibody called STI-1499. Shares skyrocketed by more than 100% on this news, but have cooled down significantly since. It seems plausible that Sorrento overplayed its hand in claiming to have found a potential cure for COVID-19, but investors will want to keep an eye on this biotech.

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