Sorrento Therapeutics’ Covistix rapid tests outperforms in detecting omicron variant in initial lab tests

Sorrento Therapeutics Inc.
said Monday that “initial” laboratory testing of its Covistix COVID-19 virus rapid antigen detection test “significantly outperforms” in the detection of the omicron variant. The stock slipped 1.1% in morning trading. The company said Covistix, which is currently approved in Mexico and Brazil and is CE marked in Europe, was able to detect the omicron N protein “at a significantly lower level” than other commercially available tests in a laboratory setting, and in an in-field, real-world study for all-comers showed 20% higher sensitivity compared with a “leading global brand.” Sorrento said it is building a new U.S. production facility in San Diego targeting an initial capacity of six million Covistix tests per month. Earlier, the company announced a deal to distribute up to 10 million of its Covistix tests in Mexico, bringing the total number of tests for distribution to 15 million. The stock has tumbled 30.4% over the past three months, while the iShares Biotechnology ETF
has lost 8.4% and the S&P 500
has gained 6.9%.