Anavex Life Sciences Corp. (AVXL) Soars on Parkinson's Drug Data

Anavex Life Sciences Corp. (AVXL) is bouncing back on drug data showing promise for Parkinson's disease

by Celeste Taylor

Published on Sep 22, 2016 at 12:35 PM

Just one day off an annual low, Anavex Life Sciences Corp. (NASDAQ:AVXL) is popping off today, after the biotech stock announced that its ANAVEX 2-73 drug has shown promise in restoring function in "a classic animal model of Parkinson's disease." The compound has already shown promise in both human subjects as well as in Phase 2a trials for Alzheimer's disease. In the option pits, calls are hot, as AVXL attempts to topple a trendline not conquered since late July.

AVXL is up 27.6% at $3.33 so far today, muscling above the $3 level that acted as support in August. The stock is also on track to close above its 30-day moving average for the first time since its late-July bear gap. Longer term, though, the stock has lost nearly 78% of its value since touching a four-year peak in November, with subsequent rebound attempts halted in the $8 region.

In the option pits, peak open interest sits at the out-of-the-money October 5 call, with just under 2,900 contracts open. This option is also the most popular today, and while volume is light on an absolute basis, AVXL calls are crossing the tape at 16 times the average intraday rate. Some of the call buying at this strike could be hedging action, however. AVXL's short interest -- previously at a record-high -- is down by 21.9% over the last two reporting periods, but shorted shares still account for 10.8% of AVXL's float, which would take 8.3 days of trading to cover, at AVXL's average daily volume. 

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