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March 11, 2020

COVID-19 Update

4:00 am Pacific


Below are some key FACTS with regard to COVID-19:

  • COVID-19 is not as deadly as SARS or MERS;
  • Symptoms are often very similar to the common cold;
  • The vast majority of people (approximately 80%) who contract COVID-19 fully recover without any special medical treatment;
  • The elderly or those in poor health are the most at risk;
  • Only 1,000 COVID-19 cases have been reported so far in the United States (about 100 in Canada).  However, testing has been limited – the number of cases could rise dramatically during the 2nd half of March;
  • Ontario has identified what appears to be its first community transmission of COVID-19 in a man in his 50’s who attended PDAC in Toronto last week (March 1 and 2), according to information released last night by Public Health Sudbury and Districts.  Anyone who attended the conference should monitor themselves for symptoms, health authorities say, though there’s no need for attendees to self-isolate at this time;
  • COVID-19 has spread to over 100 countries but by far the worst of the outbreak has been in China where authorities now appear to have the situation under control;
  • Italy has been the second hardest-hit country – 10,149 confirmed cases have been reported with 631 deaths (91% of those who have died were in their 70’s or older).  Italy, the 3rd largest economy in the euro zone, has a national lockdown in place;
  • While it wouldn’t be wise to minimize the COVID-19 problem, especially with its obvious impact on the global economy, media sensationalism and hysteria have certainly heightened the “Fear Factor” surrounding COVID-19 (“We have nothing to fear but fear itself,” as President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said in a famous address).  When you see a run on toilet paper, you know people are getting carried away.

COVID-19 Compared To The Common Flu

Below is a tweet from President Trump on Monday.  He’s correct to point out that “life and the economy go on” despite the many Americans who die every year because of the common flu (so far this season in the U.S. there have been at least 34 million flue illnesses, 350,000 hospitalizations and 20,000 deaths from flu according to the latest numbers from the CDC).  However, the death rate from COVID-19 is significantly higher than the common flu and the number of cases are low at the moment only because there hasn’t been widespread testing.

The COVID-19 problem is going to get worse.  Beyond finding an effective vaccine (likely months or maybe a year or more away), the testing issue is key and that’s why Sona Nanotech (SONA, CSE) remains a very smart “hedge” for investors at the moment.

Working with GE Healthcare Life Sciences, The Native Antigen Company and Bond Digital Health, Sona is in a leading position in the race to get a much-needed product to market as quickly as possible (during Q2) – a rapid response lateral flow test that would greatly ease the strain on hospitals.  If successful, this would obviously be a massive company builder for Sona which also has other products in its pipeline with its proprietary and patent-pending Gold nanorods that could easily pivot the entire multi-billion-dollar lateral flow industry.

Click on the arrow to hear Part 2 of our interview with Sona Director Jim Megann, also Managing Director of Numus Financial (more of the interview over the next few days).


Sona, which closed at 72 cents yesterday and has only 52 million shares outstanding, keeps pushing higher on a weekly basis.  Below is a bar chart tracking the stock’s weekly performance since February 7 (5 straight weekly advances).

Check out our most recent Sunday Sizzler Report! for further details and comments regarding SONA.

Note:  Jon holds a share position in SONA.


  1. The CCP are liars. We cannot trust their “official” numbers anymore than Bernie Madoff’s client statements in the 1990’s! Word from within China, outside of the communist regime, is that they are lying. And, likely forcing people back to work too soon….

    Comment by phenom007 — March 11, 2020 @ 11:24 am

  2. TSXV hits 5 year low I think today. Geesch

    Comment by david — March 11, 2020 @ 12:31 pm

  3. News just out from SONA, stock gunning for its 6th straight weekly gain…

    Sona Provides Corporate Update

    Halifax, Nova Scotia–(Newsfile Corp. – March 12, 2020) – Sona Nanotech Inc. (CSE: SONA) (OTC Pink: LMTCF) (“Sona”) is pleased to provide a corporate update on recent activities. In the past several weeks, Sona has been focused on work related to the development of a rapid response COVID-19 lateral flow test. This update will outline progress and advancements on Sona’s COVID-19 test and other corporate developments.

    The Sona Advantage

    Sona is a research and development company that owns proprietary gold nanorod technology that can be used in a variety of lateral flow applications, specifically rapid diagnostic testing devices. In a lateral flow tests, particles such as Sona’s gold nanorods (GNR) are used to bind to biological materials and carry them along a test strip, producing a positive or negative result. Sona holds a global patent (pending) on the manufacture of GNRs that offers several functional performance advantages over other particles currently in the market, such as:

    Sona GNRs are designed to maximize the ability to detect bio markers in low concentration levels, essentially meaning Sona tests often detect a condition earlier than many other particles.

    Sona GNRs typically move though lateral flow test membranes at a faster pace than other particles types, meaning the Sona test can produce results faster than many other lateral flow tests.

    Sona GNRs can be manufactured in various sizes which allow multiple colour test lines to be generated, providing a simple differentiation between test and control results, whereas competitive spherical gold nanoparticles can only present as a red line.

    Over the past year, Sona has identified a number of test applications in the marketplace that would benefit from the introduction of Sona GNR technology. Specifically, Sona believes its technology would produce a more rapid and accurate response than the tests currently used in the marketplace. Sona expects to announce progress on 2-3 of its new tests during 2020.

    Sona’s COVID-19 lateral flow test update

    Development work on Sona’s new test to measure the COVID-19 virus is underway in 3 separate labs in Canada, the UK and Germany. The company has an ongoing, open dialogue with regulators to ensure the Sona’s test is being developed within the parameters regulators have outlined. This approach will allow Sona to be eligible for FDA review through their Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) pathway and a fast-track to market.

    Sona is currently in discussion with contract manufactures, OEM manufactures, field testing partners, as well as sales and distribution partners and expects to provide more detail on its path to market in the near future. From a test development perspective, Sona expects to have a working prototype for the COVID-19 rapid response test within the next few weeks.

    The spread of COVID-19 appears to be accelerating on a global basis. Sona’s COVID-19 rapid response test is designed for use as an on-site screening tool for front line tests to:

    stream-line efforts of the medical community.

    avoid unnecessary quarantine.

    to screen individuals entering closed environments such as cruise ships, planes, tradeshows, factories, schools, universities or large gathering events such as concerts and sporting events.

    The right partners

    In support of Sona’s commitment to develop a proprietary rapid-response screening test for COVID-19, the company has chosen the following partners;

    GE Healthcare Life Sciences – the latest membrane technology, offering sensitive and timely test results

    Bond Digital – the ability to ensure test data is captured and interpreted correctly and can also be collated and analysed by health care providers and government organisations to help track the spread of the virus.

    Advisors – who have the experience and skill set to ensure Sona has the fastest and most direct path to regulatory approval and test production is conducted under ISO 13485 quality assurance standards, assuring every test performs as intended.

    How lateral flow tests work

    All lateral flow tests are designed to identify the presence of a biological marker. These markers are either direct or indirect markers for a condition, such as a viral infection. An example of an indirect test would be a pregnancy test which doesn’t test for biological material from a fetus, but rather detects a hormone (hCG) released by a mother when she is pregnant. An example of a direct test would be testing for HIV infection that detects the presence of the HIV virus itself.

    The Sona COVID-19 test currently in development will directly detect the COVID-19 virus, confirming active infection which we believe will result in the most accurate rapid response test available. Some competitors are developing alternative COVID-19 rapid response tests (serological assays) that detect increased levels of IgM and IgG antibodies (immune markers) in a patient sample. Patients infected with Covid-19 may produce increased levels of these markers, however, tests that are NOT specific to a COVID-19 infection will likely cross-react if a person is suffering from a recent infection (e.g. food poisoning, ear infection) or has an underlying health condition, leading to an incorrect result (false positive and false negatives). Patients most vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus include the elderly or those with underlying health conditions. The use of serological tests on this patient group is risky due to their susceptibility to common infections. A false negative may produce unintended outcomes that could result in a delayed patient intervention and treatment. Further, the use of alcohol, recreational drugs and certain medications can also interfere with test results, increasing the likelihood of false negatives.

    Sona’s proprietary test is intended to address the shortcomings and issues present with other testing methodologies. Sona expects to provide near-terms updates on the development of its rapid-response COVID-19 test.

    For More Information
    For more information about Sona, please contact:
    Darren Rowles
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Telephone: (902) 442-0653
    Email: Darren Rowles, darren@sonanano.com

    About Sona Nanotech Inc.

    Sona Nanotech Inc. is a nanotechnology life sciences firm that has developed two proprietary methods for the manufacture of rod-shaped gold nanoparticles. The principal business carried out and intended to be continued by Sona is the development and application of its proprietary technology for use in multiplex diagnostic testing platforms that will improve performance over existing tests in the market.

    Sona’s gold nanorod particles are CTAB (cetyltrimethylammonium) free, eliminating the toxicity risks associated with the use of other gold nanorod technologies in medical applications. It is expected that Sona’s gold nanotechnologies may be adapted for use in applications, as a safe and effective delivery system for multiple medical treatments, pending the approval of various regulatory boards including Health Canada and the FDA.

    Sona is a publicly listed company on the Canadian Securities Exchange existing under the laws of Nova Scotia, with its operations in Nova Scotia.

    Comment by Jon - BMR — March 12, 2020 @ 4:51 am

  4. $20 silver back in December right Jon?

    Comment by Jean — March 13, 2020 @ 8:35 am

  5. The U.S. Mint can’t keep up with the orders now coming in for Silver, Jean, just in the last number of days…so the current dip – brought on by equity turbulence and fears over a global economic slowdown – is merely temporary and starting to wake some people up…both Gold and Silver will come out on the back end of this like they did after the 2008 market crash…

    Comment by Jon - BMR — March 13, 2020 @ 9:40 am

  6. Very interesting trading activity in Wallbridge late today – major reversal pattern and up 5 cents, despite Gold and Gold Index off sharply…news leak?…WM is certainly another example of an oversold Gold stock right now…

    Comment by Jon - BMR — March 13, 2020 @ 12:08 pm

  7. Major averages responding well to a great Trump news conference as he harnesses the power of the private sector to combat the COVID-19 problem…

    Comment by Jon - BMR — March 13, 2020 @ 12:50 pm

  8. Support for Oil prices late today with Trump announcing that U.S. will purchase large quantities of Crude to beef up its strategic reserve…Oil was down 24% for the week, about the same drop for the TSX Gold Index…

    Comment by Jon - BMR — March 13, 2020 @ 2:15 pm

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