Sorrento Therapeutics (SRNE) has plans to shortly advance its Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (Btk) inhibitor abivertinib into pivotal testing for the treatment of hospitalized COVID-19-infected patients, yet abivertinib has recently been making waves as a possible therapy for an entirely different disease.
Last week, the peer-reviewed journal Clinical Cancer Research published the results from a pivotal study based in China in which abivertinib was tested on 227 heavily pretreated NSCLC (non-small cell lung cancer) patients.
Out of 209 response evaluable patients, the confirmed overall response rate (ORR) came in at 52.2%, while the disease control rate (DCR) hit 88%. The median duration of response (DoR) was 8.5 months and progression-free survival (PFS) came in at 7.5 months. The median overall survival (OS) clocked in at 24.9 months. Based on these findings, Sorrento is undertaking an independent review with long-term follow-up data and plans on asking the FDA for a pre-NDA meeting.
“Given the ORR of 52.2%, and OS of 24.9 months, which we consider comparable to approved third-generation EGFR inhibitors,” said H.C. Wainwright’s Ram Selvaraju, “Abivertinib demonstrated significantly efficacious effects in overcoming resistance-conferring mutations in NSCLC. We remind investors that abivertinib is a pyrrolopyrimidine-based, third-generation EGFR/BTK inhibitor, which is structurally distinct from the marketed AstraZeneca agent Tagrisso (osimertinib).”
The latest encouraging news follows on from another positive development; earlier this month, the Brazilian regulatory agency (ANVISA) approved COVISTIX, the company’s 15-minute diagnostic test for the detection of Covid-19. Brazil has been hit hard by the pandemic with over 500,000 attributable deaths so far and almost 21 million COVID-19 cases. As such, the government is determined to broaden local testing capabilities, which could spell opportunity for Sorrento.
While the company’s recent Q3 top-and bottom-line results missed Selvaraju’s estimates, the analyst believes Sorrento could attain “cash flow-positive status in 2023 based solely on its existing revenue base and further market traction with its COVID-19 diagnostics products, without including any contribution from other pipeline candidates.”
To this end, Selvaraju rates SRNE a Buy along with a $26 price target. At current levels, this target suggests ~320% upside for the year ahead. (To watch Selvaraju’s track record, click here)
Sorrento has slipped under most analysts’ radar; the stock’s Moderate Buy consensus is based on just two recent ratings. With shares trading at $6.18, the $22.50 average price target suggests room for ~264% upside. (See SRNE stock analysis on TipRanks)
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analyst. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.