Sona Nanotech (CSE: SONA) is one of the largest movers and shakers of the last week, with the equity currently trading at $8.71 at the time of writing, up $1.74 per share, or just shy of 25% on heavy volume of 1.5 million. The equity has soared during today’s session, hitting a high of $9.40 earlier before coming down slightly back to reality.
The volume appears to be the result of news published by the company last week, with Sona announcing validation results for its COVID-19 lateral flow antigen test. The company hit a high of $8.70 on Friday following the unhalting of the company, boasting volume of 2.42 million. Today’s action appears to be follow-on volume from that development.
With respect to the firms tech, the company has developed what it deems to be a rapid detection COVID-19 antigen test. Laboratory validation studies of the test has revealed a test sensitivity of 96%, along with a matching specificity. Further, the company has identified that sales of its test kits will be permitted under a “research use only,” which seems to be the real push for the volume. That label requirement will be removed once full regulatory authority is granted, however it appears that the interim labeling will not be an issue for the firm.
In response to this, Sona has also identified that the “technology transfer” to manufacturers is currently underway for the production of tests. While quantities of production was not provided, they have stated that their goal is to “meet current and expected demand” – which, while not stated, is likely substantial given the current pandemic we’re currently going through. A further update on the sales progress as well as the manufacturing timetable is anticipated to be released by the company in the coming weeks.
The main benefit behind the test kit being developed by the company, is that it is able to detect the virus in patients with what is indicated as being a “low” viral load in as little as ten to fifteen minutes. Comparable antigen test kits on the markets currently take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours to diagnose. The test kits are stated to have a limit of detection of 2.1 x 102 TCID50, whereas comparable “positive” results are for viral loads between a range of 104 – 106 – suggesting the kit provides a strong improvement in the ability of testing should it receive final approval by all relevant authorities.
The company is now anticipated to enter into independent clinical, in-field evaluation studies to generate the data support current analytical and clinical data that the firm has on the test kits. This will be included in the firms submission that is to be made to Health Canada and the FDA for approval under the emergency use authorization. For the latter, Sona has engaged a contract research organization (CRO) to assist in the required studies to obtain authorization.
In terms of market activity, the rise from last Monday’s close of $3.13 to the current share price is easier understood when looking at the firms share structure. Sona Nanotech currently has 60.3 million shares outstanding as of January 31, 2020, based on their latest financial filings, while having 1.8 million stock options outstanding with an average weighted price of $0.31 per share. The company has an additional 596,250 broker warrants outstanding with an exercise price of $0.25.
Of these 60.3 million shares, 8.7 million are held by insiders, giving the company insider ownership of approximately 14.48%. The result, is that based on the market activity, there just appears to be a strong shareholder base behind the company, with few willing to give up the goods.
Information for this briefing was found via Sedar and Sona Nanotech. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.
As the founder of The Deep Dive, Jay is focused on all aspects of the firm. This includes operations, as well as acting as the primary writer for The Deep Dive’s stock analysis. In addition to The Deep Dive, Jay performs freelance writing for a number of firms and has been published on Stockhouse.com and CannaInvestor Magazine among others.