What happened

Shares of Sorrento Therapeutics (NASDAQ:SRNE) jumped 24.4% in June, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, as the biotech made progress on its COVID-19 programs.

So what

Sorrento Thrapeutics has a pair of drugs designed to treat COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, a vaccine to prevent infection, and an antibody test to detect past infection.

In May, the biotech announced preclinical data for STI-1499, an antibody targeting SARS-CoV-2. And then in June, the company reported preclinical data on a different drug, STI-4398, an ACE2-Fc protein that also binds the virus and blocks it from infecting respiratory cells.

Sorrento's vaccine, T-VIVA-19, which was disclosed last week, produced neutralizing antibodies in 80% of mice treated with the vaccine. The preclinical data drove shares even higher during the first week of July.

Patient lying in a bed wearing an air mask

Image source: Getty Images.

Finally, Sorrento has a diagnostic, Covi-Track, to test if patients have antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. Last month, the company submitted an application for an emergency use authorization to the Food and Drug Administration. Like other antibody tests, Covi-Track isn't designed to diagnose patients currently infected, but it will determine if patients have developed antibodies to the virus. The latter is helpful for knowing if recovered patients can donate plasma to help currently infected patients.

Now what

While the progress is nice to see, investors should keep in mind that, except for the Cov-Track test, all of Sorrento's other COVID-19 products are going to take a while to get onto the market and generate revenue since they aren't even being tested in clinical trials yet. If the leaders in the vaccine race are able to get onto the market quickly, Sorrento could be left out on both the vaccine and treatment fronts.

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