A rising stock price is the cure for any investor's glum mood. Sorrento Therapeutics (SRNE.Q -4.46%) provided a big dose of this on Monday; its shares gained over 7% thanks to encouraging news from the laboratory about the company's coronavirus drug candidate.
That morning, Sorrento reported that it has reached full enrollment for its phase 1 study of that drug, Covishield. All told, 24 healthy recipients will be administered the drug, in the form of a nasal spray.
As a nasally administered medicine, Covishield has a short pathway to upper airways and the lungs; COVID infections in these regions have been particularly damaging to many patients and have led to significant fatalities.
Sorrento added that Covishield's safety profile is close to that of Covidrops, a similar treatment that has advanced into phase 2 testing. The biotech company's findings indicate that Covidrops have had "only transient events" that were mild in severity and did not require treatment.
In its press release trumpeting the news, Sorrento quoted its chief medical officer, Mike Royal, as saying, "We are encouraged by the speed with which this study enrolled, as the IND was just cleared two months ago." He was referring to the Food and Drug Administration's Investigational New Drug (IND) designation. This essentially allows a biotech to quickly bring a pipeline drug to a clinical trial.
Highly efficacious COVID vaccines have been on the market for quite some time and have made their way into a great many arms. But while a handful of treatments targeting the illness have been authorized around the world, there remains great opportunity for a particularly well-performing one to succeed widely. Sorrento investors' hopes have been raised for Covishield to eventually be that drug.