What happened

Shares of Sorrento Therapeutics (NASDAQ:SRNE) leapt 10.4% on Wednesday, after the biopharmaceutical company released initial pre-clinical results from its COVID-19 vaccine program. 

So what 

Sorrento said its vaccine candidate T-VIVA-19 (targeted virus vaccine against COVID-19) induced antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, after being injected into mice.

"Approximately 80% of the mice's sera possessed neutralizing antibodies and completely prevented virus infection in in vitro cell cultures using 100 TCID50 viruses and VERO cells," the company said in a press release.

A woman in laboratory safety gear is placing liquids into test tubes with a dropper.

Sorrento Therapeutics' stock rose sharply on Wednesday, after the company released promising early data on its experimental new COVID-19 vaccine. Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

Sorrento intends to seek regulatory authorization to begin clinical trials for T-VIVA-19. At the same time, it will start ramping up its vaccine production and distribution capabilities. 

"If successful and approved, we plan to produce the T-VIVA-19 vaccine in our therapeutic antibody cGMP production facility in San Diego," Sorrento CEO Henry Ji said.

Ji also noted that its experimental vaccine could be easier to produce in large quantities than other COVID-19 vaccine candidates, because of its potentially low dose requirements.