Stocks On the Move: Agios Pharmaceuticals Inc, Kite Pharma Inc, and Neuroderm Ltd

Biotech stocks Agios Pharmaceuticals Inc (AGIO), Kite Pharma Inc (KITE), and Neuroderm Ltd (NDRM) are making big moves in today's trading

Dec 5, 2016 at 1:02 PM
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U.S. stocks are higher as traders react to solid data and rising oil prices. Among specific equities making big moves today are biotech stocks Agios Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AGIO), Kite Pharma Inc (NASDAQ:KITE), and Neuroderm Ltd (NASDAQ:NDRM). Here's a quick look at what's driving AGIO, KITE, and NDRM.

  • AGIO is trading down 13% at $49.56, as the biotech faces safety concerns over its experimental drug AG-519, one of several treatments for pyruvate kinase deficiency the company has in the works. Today's drop puts AGIO down 23.8% since the beginning of 2016, with the shares stalling several times in the $65-$67 region -- home to their year-to-date breakeven level -- over the past 12 months. Although Agios Pharmaceuticals Inc shares are on the short-sale restricted (SSR) list today, plenty of bears are likely cheering. Short interest represents 19.1% of AGIO's total available float, or more than six days' of pent-up buying demand, at the stock's average daily trading volume. 

  • KITE is up 8.6% at $55.11, after the biotech announced it has begun the application process to market its blood cancer therapy, KTE-C19, which it expects to be completed by early 2017. The stock has managed to recover nearly 38% since its early November lows, and is set to topple its 80-day moving average for the first time since mid-October. As with AGIO, KITE is popular among short sellers, with short interest representing more than 20% of the equity's total available float. Analysts, however, have remained confident, with 90% rating Kite Pharma Inc shares a "buy" or better.

  • NDRM is up 28%, trading at $19.90, on news Neuroderm Ltd will be replacing two planned Phase 3 drug trials with smaller trials that will potentially chart a faster path to a future new drug application (NDA). Earlier, NDRM notched a new annual high of $21.95, and is attempting to overtake the $19-$20 neighborhood that has contained the shares since April. Short sellers may be getting nervous, with short interest accounting for 10.1% of NDRM's float, which would take over two weeks of trading to cover, at the stock's average daily volume.
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