Healthcare Economy

Friday Turned Into Biotech Friday, Many Massive Movers On News

How many big movers can you see in one day in the biotech sector?  This is what investors should be asking.  If you didn’t know better you might think there was a collusion in the biotech space to run many sector shares higher. Some movers were up big on volume spikes, others were just up big.  Unfortunately there were some blow-ups as well.

Alexza Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALXA) was up 43% at $3.93 right before the closing bell on over 2.9 million shares right at the close.  The company is re-submitting its Adasuve with the FDA.

Geron Corporation (NASDAQ: GERN) was showing that it could come back from the dead. Shares were up 9.9% at $1.61 on more than 1.3 million shares late in the day.

NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: NPSP) was up 14% at $8.23 right before the closing on a 3-times volume spike of 2.3 million shares on a positive note on its bowel drug issued by Takeda.

Medgenics, Inc. (NASDAQ: MDGN) continued its surge on word of a continued FDA orphan drug status.  Shares were up 13% at $10.00 on over 200,000 shares right before the close. This was a $6.00 stock on Tuesday.

DepoMed Inc. (NASDAQ: DEPO) was up 13% at $5.82 on over 850,000 shares late in the day as the company paid $26 million to buy the rights to the pain drug Zipsor.  What is interesting is that this buy added more market value than what the company spent.  In short, it could go out and issue shares and stockholders who owned shares before Friday would have gotten this for free.

Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp. (NASDAQ: SNTA) was up 12.5% at $7.21 right at the close on 1.3 million shares to a new 52-week high. The move is ahead of some expected drug data perhaps next week.

NewLink Genetics Corporation (NASDAQ: NLNK) was up 9.6% at $16.56 on only about 170 shares right before the close as trading volume appeared to be double the normal trading.

Anthera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ANTH) was up almost 9% at $2.94 on over 1.15 million shares for a 2-times volume spike after having a similar move on Thursday.  The 52-week range is $1.44 to $8.78 so someone is calling a bounce here.

LOSERS

Theratechnologies Inc. (NASDAQ: THER) was a penny stock gone wrong.  Shares were down 57% at $0.79 on over 700,000 shares right before the closing bell. The company gave regulatory updates on European Union, Canada and Brazil and it no longer expects to be EBITDA positive in 2013.

Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARNA)was playing the game called “Giving It Back” as shares were down almost 15% at $9.94. What was more impressive than anything was that the volume was on almost 80 million shares right around the closing bell on Friday.

Repligen Corporation (NASDAQ: RGEN) was down a sharp 10.6% at $3.91 right before the close on over 450,000 shares.  Its imaging agent received a request for more safety data by the FDA, which is not 100% biotech news.

JON C. OGG