Biotech Buzz: Axovant Sciences Ltd, Summit Therapeutics PLC (ADR), and Mylan NV

Biotechs were on the move today, including Axovant Sciences Ltd (NYSE:AXON), Summit Therapeutics PLC (ADR) (NASDAQ:SMMT), and Mylan NV (NASDAQ:MYL)

Sep 26, 2016 at 4:20 PM
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There were quite a few biotech stocks buzzing today, as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made noise and with the presidential debate -- where the candidates could talk drug pricing -- just hours away. Among specific equities in focus were drugmakers Axovant Sciences Ltd (NYSE:AXON), Summit Therapeutics PLC (ADR) (NASDAQ:SMMT), and Mylan NV (NASDAQ:MYL).

  • AXON fell 3.7% to $14.71, despite some upbeat drug data earlier today. Specifically, the biotech received a Fast Track designation from the FDA for its dementia treatment, intepirdine. AXON was initially notably higher on today's FDA news, but ultimately turned tail with many of its sector peers. Axovant Sciences Ltd fell late last week, after Dutch rival Lundbeck's dementia treatment failed its Phase 3 study, and the stock is now testing support in the $14.50-$15 range. This area contained pullbacks in early 2016 and again in early August, stifled the stock's June rally, and represents half of AXON's all-time closing high. From an options perspective, there's likely a few option bears hoping this downtrend will continue, with AXON's 10-day put/call volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) indicating nearly two puts bought to open for every call option over the past two weeks. Short sellers are likely cheering, with 43.8% of AXON's float currently sold short, which would take nearly five weeks of trading to cover, at AXON's average daily volume.

  • Unlike sector peer AXON, SMMT rocketed higher after a new FDA Fast Track designation for its Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) drug, ezutromid. SMMT added 14.8% to finish at $10.02, landing in double-digit territory for the first time since late April. In fact, the stock has soared more than 50% in September so far, perhaps encouraged by this other red-hot DMD drugmaker. Short sellers are likely kicking rocks after this latest announcement, with Summit Therapeutics PLC (ADR)'s short interest up 5.6% over the last two reporting periods. It would now take over 17 days to cover all of SMMT's shorted shares, at the equity's average daily volume -- plenty of fuel for an extended short squeeze.
  • MYL -- arguably the pharma company most likely to get a mention at tonight's debate -- dropped 2.1% to end at $41.18, as the biotech continues to deal with drama stemming from its EpiPen price-gouging accusations. Most recently, CEO Heather Bresch is under fire for stating during a Congressional hearing that MYL made only $100 per two-pack of EpiPens sold; a figure which reportedly under-represents MYL's profits by approximately 60%. Mylan NV has lost nearly a quarter of its value since the beginning of 2016, and puts have been popular in recent weeks, with MYL's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 3.00 sitting higher than 87% of all other readings taken in the past 12 months.

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