Shares of Tonix Pharmaceuticals (TNXP 0.27%) jumped 22% on Monday after the biopharmaceutical company said it would develop a COVID-19 skin test.
Tonix intends to develop a diagnostic skin test, called TNX-2100, to measure T-cell immunity to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Researchers believe T-cell immunity can help protect against severe forms of the disease.
"We believe TNX-2100 has the potential to measure T-cell immunity to CoV-2 and therefore serve as an aid to COVID-19 diagnosis to support patient care, public health surveillance, and vaccine trials," Tonix CEO Seth Lederman said in a press release.
Tonix expects its test to provide time- and cost-savings compared to current T-cell immunity tests that require specialized laboratory equipment. TNX-2100 is also designed to be administered in a wider variety of healthcare settings.
Tonix plans to begin clinical trials of TNX-2100 in the second half of 2021, subject to regulatory clearance.
Tonix also announced a stock offering on Monday. The biotech will sell approximately 58.3 million shares to investors at a price of $1.20 per share. Tonix expects to raise roughly $70 million, which it can use to fund the development of TNX-2100 and other clinical studies.