Sorrento’s New COVID-19 Test Could Be a Game Changer, Says 5-Star Analyst

Sorrento Therapeutics (SRNE) enjoyed yet another stellar day. Sure, there have been plenty of good weeks so far in 2020 – shares are up by a resounding 190% year-to-date. And according to H.C. Wainwright analyst Ram Selvaraju, there’s plenty more to come.

Selvaraju reiterated a Buy rating on SRNE shares and boosted his price target to $30. If the market plays nice with Selvaraju’s forecast, investors could be adding a massive 207% to their portfolios over the next 12 months. (To watch Selvaraju’s track record, click here)

That’s an extremely bullish call, so what lies behind it? Last week, Sorrento announced it had inked a licensing deal with Columbia University for an innovative new COVID-19 test. The university has given Sorrento the rights to a fast, one-step diagnostic test that samples saliva and can detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus in 30 minutes.

COVI-TRACE – the test’s name – will be marketed by Sorrento. What sets it apart from other diagnostic products is that all testing materials are held in a single tube, eliminating the need for any laboratory equipment. The advantages are obvious, as this means the test is mobile and can be used in various settings - either on site, for point-of-care or even for home testing.

With the number of COVID-19 cases spiking, laboratories across the country are finding it difficult to meet the demand. As a result of the current backlog, average turnaround times for test results are reportedly between several days to over a week. Selvaraju expects Sorrento to file for EUA certification immediately.

The 5-star analyst said, “We believe that the incentive to facilitate the large-scale and indeed ubiquitous deployment of the COVI-TRACE test is extremely high and governments worldwide may seek to implement this in their respective regions. Our current assumptions viewed in this context may be considered conservative—we utilize a $15 price per test (payable on a cash basis, which obviates the reimbursement part of the equation) and anticipate that roughly 56.5 million such tests could be conducted at peak annually, resulting in total sales of roughly $1 billion."

Overall, only one other analyst has thrown the hat in with a review of the high-flying biotech over the past three months. The extra Buy provides Sorrento with a Moderate Buy consensus rating. At $27, the average price target implies upside potential of 181%. (See Sorrento stock analysis on TipRanks)

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