Sorrento Therapeutics has acquired a majority stake in Zhengzhou Fortune Bioscience (FortuneBio) for an undisclosed sum.

The company stated that the purchase is in response to increasing demand for the COVISTIX COVID-19 VIRUS Rapid Antigen Detection Test across the world.

Approved for emergency use, the Covid-19 rapid antigen test is designed for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 as well as its major variants of concern (VOCs), including the Omicron variant.

It identifies the SARS-CoV-2 virus nucleocapsid antigen in patients’ nasal samples.

FortuneBio specialises in manufacturing lateral flow diagnostic products for fecal occult blood tests, pregnancy tests and drug abuse test kits.

It produces products that are approved and sold in more than 20 countries.

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By GlobalData

The company, which operates an ISO 13885 facility, has the capability to produce tens of millions of lateral flow tests a month and is currently expanding its manufacturing capabilities to meet the worldwide demand for COVISTIX.

Sorrento stated that the deal includes an option to acquire 100% of FortuneBio.

Sorrento chairman and CEO Dr Henry Ji said: “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.

“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 commercialise our antibody-enabled diagnostic products in synergy with our antibody therapeutics.”

The company stated that COVISTIX received CE mark for sale in Europe for professional point-of-care use and is also available in Mexico and Brazil.