Healthcare Roundup – Can you get coronavirus a second time? Sona Nanotech advances rapid COVID-19 antigen test

人會二次感染新冠病毒嗎?Sona Nanotech推進快速COVID-19抗原測試
Published on: August 26, 2020
Author: Amy Liu

Can you get coronavirus a second time? A new study says yes

Researchers at the University of Hong Kong say they have proved the “first case” of reinfection of COVID-19, marking the first such documented case in the world.

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The virus strains contracted by a 33-year-old man in April (while living in Hong Kong) and August (after he returned from Spain) were “clearly different,” meaning he was not a “persistent carrier” of the virus from his prior infection.

“Many believe that recovered COVID-19 patients have immunity against re-infection because most developed a serum neutralizing antibody response. However, there is evidence that some patients have waning antibody level after a few months,” the researchers declared. “Our findings suggest that the SARS-CoV-2 may persist in the global human population as is the case for other common cold-associated human coronaviruses, even if patients have acquired immunity via natural infection.”

The study has been accepted by the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal, though other experts are calling for more research.

“The finding does not mean taking vaccines will be useless,” Dr. Kai-Wang To, one of the leading authors of the paper, told Reuters. “Immunity induced by vaccination can be different from those induced by natural infection,” he added. “[We] will need to wait for the results of the vaccine trials to see if how effective vaccines are.”

Related tickers: Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX), Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX), Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:INO), Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA), AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN), Dynavax (NASDAQ:DVAX), GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK), iBio (NYSEMKT:IBIO), Altimmune (NASDAQ:ALT) and VBI Vaccines (NASDAQ:VBIV).

Sona Nanotech advances rapid COVID-19 antigen test

Thinly traded Sona Nanotech (OTCQB:SNANF +8.2%) is in the green, albeit on turnover of only 10K shares, on the heels of its announcement of performance data on its rapid COVID-19 antigen test.

Based on a bank of 99 patient samples previously analyzed by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) molecular tests, Sona’s assay showed 84.6% sensitivity (detecting true positives) and 90.0% specificity (detecting true negatives).

Applications are in process in Canada and the U.S. seeking emergency use authorizations during the pandemic.

Qualigen picks up a bull who sees a two-bagger after release of COVID-19 test

Alliance Global Partners upgrades Qualigen (QLGN +4.0%) to Buy with a $10 (107% upside) price target. In a note, analyst James Molloy regards the company as a “compelling opportunity” in cancer detection and treatment.

It currently markets its FastPack System for detecting prostate cancer, thyroid function and metabolic disorders. It plans to launch the FastPack PRO SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody test this quarter.

Lead therapeutic candidate is AS1411, a G-rich oligonucleotide that binds to a protein called nucleolin that is present on the surface of cancer cells.

Amwell files for IPO with $100M investment from Google

Telehealth company, Amwell (AMWL) formerly known as American Well has filed with SEC to raise up to $100M in IPO.

The number of shares and the price range have not yet been determined.

1H2020 Financials: Total revenue: $122.28M (+77%); Operating loss: $113.58M; Net Income: $113.44M; Cash Flow from Operations: -$57.82M.

Concurrently, the company entered into a stock purchase agreement with Google LLC, to issue $100M of Class C common stock at a price equal to IPO price and will be contingent upon its closing.

During Q2, Amwell saw average monthly visit volumes and average monthly active providers delivering healthcare on its platform increase over 300% and 400% sequentially.

AbbVie teams up with Harvard in viral infection research

AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) and Harvard University announce a $30M collaborative research alliance aimed at studying and developing novel treatments for emergent viral infections, in particular those caused by coronaviruses and viruses leading to hemorrhagic fever.

The partnership’s objective is the rapidly integrate fundamental biology into preclinical and clinical development of the new therapies for viral diseases that address a range of therapeutic modalities.

AbbVie will provide the $30M in funding over a three-year period.

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