What happened

Shares of Sorrento Therapeutics (NASDAQ:SRNE) fell 37.8% in October according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. Shares peaked on Oct. 13 in anticipation of a research and development presentation to go over the company's vast array of potential COVID-19 products. Sorrento has a pipeline of drugs to treat patients infected with the novel coronavirus, to prevent infection with a vaccine, and to detect the coronavirus with various diagnostic tests.

So what

Following the presentation, investors seem to have realized that while Sorrento has quite a few programs to address the COVID-19 pandemic, the company hasn't made much progress on getting the drugs, vaccines, and tests to a point where it can generate revenue.

During the month, Sorrento announced that it licensed yet another potential COVID-19 treatment from Personalized Stem Cells. But like its other programs, the mesenchymal stem cell program is still at the early stage of development.

A few days later, the biotech announced that Brazilian regulators cleared a 400-patient, mid-stage clinical trial of abivertinib as a treatment for patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Unfortunately, a few weeks later, the clinical trial has yet to start enrolling patients, according to the U.S. government's clinical trial database where the study is listed.

Doctors in personal protective equipment

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

With many companies developing vaccines against the novel coronavirus, including data on Monday from Pfizer and BioNTech, it seems Sorrento is slowly missing the COVID-19 opportunity while it focuses on building the breadth of its offerings. For Sorrento to turn things around, investors should look for the company to focus on a couple of its opportunities and develop them as quickly as possible.

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