What happened

Shares of Sorrento Therapeutics (SRNE.Q 16.67%) jumped 9.1% higher on Wednesday. The nice gain came after the company reported preliminary third-quarter sales results for pain drug ZTlido and announced the discovery of a new therapy that holds promise in treating COVID-19. 

So what

Sorrento's news about ZTlido has a more tangible near-term impact for the company. The biotech stated that it expects Q3 sales for the topical pain product to come in at close to $7.2 million, up 26% from the previous quarter. That's a solid gain, especially considering the headwinds from the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to its sneak peek at the Q3 sales for ZTlido, Sorrento announced that a late-stage study for experimental non-opioid therapy SP-102 in treating sciatica is over 90% enrolled.

Scientist holding a small coronavirus model.

Image source: Getty Images.

It's possible, though, that investors were even more excited about Sorrento's coronavirus update. The company said that Salicyn-30 demonstrated impressive viral-load reduction in preclinical lab testing. The experimental therapy could potentially be administered orally, which would be a big plus.

Sorrento plans to initially develop Salicyn-30 as a stand-alone therapy in treating COVID-19. However, the company also thinks that it has potential as part of a combination with its other experimental antibody therapies in development.

None of the latest developments for Sorrento are game changers at this point. However, it's certainly good news for the company that ZTlido is gaining momentum. And while it's way too early to know how Salicyn-30 will pan out, the preclinical results for the experimental therapy seem to be encouraging.

Now what

Sorrento's shares have skyrocketed this year based on investors' excitement about the company's coronavirus programs. For the biotech stock to keep its momentum going, though, Sorrento will need to deliver compelling results for these programs in clinical testing.