USA – Sorrento Therapeutics, a US-based biopharmaceutical company, has acquired a majority stake in Zhengzhou Fortune Bioscience (FortuneBio) for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition was made in response to rapidly increasing global demand and a planned product build-up in anticipation of potential additional approvals for Sorrento’s Covistix Covid-19 Virus Rapid Antigen Detection Test.

FortuneBio specializes in the development of lateral flow diagnostic tests, with multiple approved products available in over 20 countries worldwide.

Pregnancy tests, fecal occult blood tests, and drug abuse test kits are among the products offered by the company.

FortuneBio operates an ISO 13885 facility capable of producing tens of millions of lateral flow tests per month.

At the moment, the company is increasing production capacity to meet global demand for its Covistix Covid-19 diagnostic test.

By acquiring a majority stake in FortuneBio, Sorrento is in a better position to rapidly respond to the ever-changing demand of rapid Covid testing and broaden our diagnostic product offering to other areas such as early cancer diagnostics.

Dr Henry Ji, Sorrento chairman CEO


In addition to providing product revenue from an established portfolio of approved diagnostic tests, FortuneBio gives Sorrento an experienced diagnostic research, development and manufacturing team and an ISO-certified facility to rapidly advance and commercialize its antibody-enabled diagnostic products in synergy with Sorrento’s antibody therapeutics.

Covistix is an antigen detection test for SARS-CoV-2 and its major variants of concern (VOCs), including the Omicron variant.

According to Brian Cooley, Sorrento’s Senior Vice President for drug delivery and diagnostics, what distinguishes Covistix is its ability to detect the Omicron variant due to a high detection sensitivity.

Our lateral flow antigen test uses a platinum colloid coupled with a pair of specific antibodies to give a clear black line if virus is present, in contrast to many tests which use a gold colloid which results in a pink or red line. This proprietary platinum colloid technology is what contributes to our improved Omicron LoD sensitivity,” he said in a statement.

The test, which is approved for use in an emergency, detects the SARS-CoV-2 virus nucleocapsid antigen in patient nasal samples.

The tests have been approved for use in an emergency and are available in Brazil and Mexico. It is CE marked for professional point-of-care use in Europe.

The company now has a majority stake, with the option of acquiring the entire company.

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