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Sorrento's (SRNE) COVID Vaccine Effective in Pre-Clinical Study

Sorrento (SRNE) announces data from pre-clinical study for its investigational mRNA COVID vaccine. The company also in-licensed rights to highly poten...

This story originally appeared on Zacks

Sorrento Therapeutics SRNE announced positive initial data from pre-clinical study for its mRNA vaccine, STI-mRNA, against the COVID-19 pandemic. The vaccine comprises proprietary designer Spike-encoding mRNAs with the potential of improving durability for both humoral and cellular immunity against the current and emerging variants of COVID-19.

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Shares of Sorrento have rallied 32.5% so far this year in comparison with the industry’s 0.7% increase.

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Data from the study demonstrated that STI-mRNA (10µg) delivered intramuscularly (“IM”) achieved 400% improvement in cellular immunity compared to IM administered LNP-mRNA (10µg). This improvement was also observed when the vaccine was delivered using MuVaxx lymphatic drug delivery device at 1/10th of the dose. This combination of STI-mRNA and MuVaxx also demonstrated similar humoral immunity as compared to the IM LNP-mRNA reference (10µg) and IM STI-mRNA (10µg).

Please note that the MuVaxx lymphatic drug delivery device is designed to deliver vaccine into the epidermis at lower doses than intramuscular administration. On the basis of data from pre-clinical studies, Sorrento will move forward with an investigational new drug application for STI-mRNA.

Per the company, the existing marketed COVID vaccines have exhibited declining efficacy against the major COVID emerging variants over time. These approved LNP-mRNA vaccines have been shown to potentially have dose-dependent side effects.

We remind investors that earlier this month, both Pfizer PFE/BioNTech BNTX’s mRNA-based vaccine, Comirnaty (formerly BNT1626b2) and Moderna’s MRNA mRNA vaccine, mRNA-1273, received authorization under emergency use to administer a third dose to certain immunocompromised individuals like those who have undergone solid organ transplantation or diagnosed with other diseases that may have weakened their immune systems.

In a separate press release, Sorrento announced that it has exercised the option to enter into an exclusive license with the Texas A&M University System for the latter’s highly potent main protease inhibitors against COVID variants. The decision to exercise the option is based on data from pre-clinical studies for the lead compound, MPI8, which demonstrated high potent antiviral activity against emerging variants of COVID-19 including alpha, beta, delta and gamma variants.

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Sorrento currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

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