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

FortuneBio has expertise in the manufacturing of lateral flow diagnostic tests with multiple approved products available in more than 20 countries across the globe.

The company’s product portfolio consists of pregnancy tests, fecal occult blood test, and drug abuse test kits.

FortuneBio operates an ISO 13885 facility, which holds the potential to produce tens of millions of lateral flow tests per month.

At present, the company is enhancing production capabilities to meet demand for its Covistix Covid-19 diagnostic test.

Sorrento chairman 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.”

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

The test, which is approved for emergency use, identifies the SARS-CoV-2 virus nucleocapsid antigen in nasal samples of patients.

It is available in Brazil and Mexico, as well as CE marked for sale in Europe for professional point-of-care use.