CytomX, Esperion, Nektar Therapeutics News Today

CytomX Therapeutics Inc, Esperion Therapeutics Inc, and Nektar Therapeutics are in the news today

by Alex Eppstein |

Published on Mar 20, 2017 at 10:02 AM

Stocks are flat in the wake of the G-20 summit, which signaled a potential turn toward protectionism. Among stocks in focus are drugmakers CytomX Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:CTMX), Esperion Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ESPR), and Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NKTR), Here's a quick roundup of the headlines moving shares of CTMX, ESPR, and NKTR -- the top three percentage gainers on the Nasdaq, at last check.

CytomX Stock Sizzles on Bristol-Myers Squibb Deal

CTMX shares are on fire, after the company extended its worldwide collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE:BMY). With CytomX Therapeutics Inc in line to receive $200 million upfront, the stock has soared nearly 30% this morning to $19.71, and hit an annual high of $20.02. While the brokerage crowd has yet to weigh in on the expanded deal with BMY, CTMX has already received plenty of upbeat coverage. Specifically, 75% of analysts rate the stock a "strong buy," without a single "sell" recommendation on the books.

Esperion Explodes on FDA Nod

ESPR announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has confirmed a regulatory pathway to approval for the drugmaker's heart drug. Not surprisingly, the stock has surged, up 53.3% at $36.28 -- and fresh off an annual high of $37.16 -- recovering from Friday's 20% fall. In fact, Esperion Therapeutics Inc shares have more than doubled in value on a year-over-year basis. One group potentially getting burned today is short sellers. Nearly 32% of ESPR's float is dedicated to these bearish bets, most of which are likely to be underwater following the bull gap.

Successful Study Sets Off Nektar Shares

NKTR is blasting off, as well, gapping up 28.6% to trade at $19.98, and just off a 10-year high of $20.29, after the company's opioid painkiller succeeded in a late-stage study. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), traders have been betting bullishly on the Nektar Therapeutics. The stock's 10-day call/put volume ratio sits at a top-heavy 20.20, ranking just 7 percentage points from an annual high.

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