7 Drugmakers Drawing a Crowd

The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) is assailing new heights, as biotechs surge again

by Andrea Kramer

Published on Jul 15, 2015 at 2:46 PM

The major market indexes are looking to extend their winning streaks, though upside momentum is relatively muted compared to the big gains of the past few days. However, one sector that's standing out -- again -- is biotech, with the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) assailing new heights, and a number of drugmakers pacing the Nasdaq leaders. 

IBB was last seen 1.4% higher at $393.27, and earlier notched a record high of $396.94. In the options pits, calls are crossing the tape at twice the average daily pace, with potential buy-to-open action spotted at the July 392.50-, 395-, 397.50-, and 400-strike calls. By purchasing the calls to open, the buyers expect IBB to extend its upward momentum through the end of the week, which represents' the contracts' lifetime.

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Digging deeper into the outperformers, PTC Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:PTCT) is up 7 points, or 14.3%, thanks to a nod from J.P. Morgan Securities. In the same vein, Zogenix, Inc. (NASDAQ:ZGNX) is 2.3 points, or 12.8%, higher -- and earlier hit an annual high of $20.47 -- after a price-target hike to $28 from $20 at Brean Capital. The brokerage firm also waxed optimistic on the company's experimental drug for Dravet syndrome.

Arguably the biggest story of the biotech world today, however, belongs to Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG) -- up 10.1 points, or 8.2%, and fresh off an all-time peak of $135.98, on news of its $7.3 billion purchase of Receptos Inc (NASDAQ:RCPT).

Enjoying the ride are Celldex Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:CLDX) and OHR Pharmaceutical Inc (NASDAQ:OHRP). The former is up 1.1 points, or 4.1%, to wink at $27.18, and the latter has added 0.7 point, or 21.5%, to hang just south of $4, extending its data-induced surge sparked earlier this week. Likewise, Esperion Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ESPR) has surged 4.2 points, or 4.6%, to dock at $95.82.


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