What Has These 3 Biotechs Popping

Five Prime Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:FPRX), OXiGENE Inc (NASDAQ:OXGN), and XBiotech Inc (NASDAQ:XBIT) are making big news on their respective fundamental developments

by Karee Venema

Published on May 27, 2015 at 1:03 PM
Updated on May 27, 2015 at 1:03 PM

Biotechs are having a big day, and sector components Five Prime Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:FPRX), OXiGENE Inc (NASDAQ:OXGN), and XBiotech Inc (NASDAQ:XBIT) are no exception. All three stocks are soaring in the wake of well-received fundamental developments -- moves that for at least one of the stocks could have short sellers shaking in their boots.

Specifically, FPRX is up 11.6% at $21.92 -- and on track to close north of its 40-day moving average for the first time since April 24 -- on reports of a new partnership with fellow drugmaker bluebird bio Inc (NASDAQ:BLUE). While the stock still remains 18.8% lower on the year, a continued rise could prompt some of the weaker bearish hands to hit the exits. Currently, 8.1% of the stock's float is sold short, and would take more than seven sessions to cover, at Five Prime Therapeutics Inc's average daily pace of trading.

OXGN, meanwhile, has tacked on 6.5% to trade at $1.47, after the company said it was given a patent for its experimental cancer drug, OXi4503. Today's pop is much needed, considering the shares have surrendered 47% of their value over the past 52 weeks, and hit a record low of $1.31 on May 8. Analysts, however, have kept the faith, with each of those covering OXiGENE Inc maintaining a "strong buy" rating. Plus, the average 12-month price target of $6.25 sits in territory not charted since October 2012.

XBIT was up 13.3% at its intraday peak -- and was last seen 1.7% higher at $20.56 -- after the company said it successfully cloned an anti-Ebola product. Since opening for trading at $23 in mid-April, shares of XBiotech Inc have shed 10.6%, and along the way, hit an April 21 all-time peak of $32.50 and a May 1 record low of $17.06. Short sellers haven't shown much interest yet, as less than 1% of the stock's float is sold short.

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