3 Biotech Stocks Ripping Higher This Morning

ARNA gaps higher after upbeat drug data, while NDA news sends OCUL and FOLD into rally mode

Managing Editor
Jul 11, 2017 at 10:27 AM
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U.S. stocks are mixed this morning, as the energy sector drags down broader markets. Among specific stocks on the move today are a trio of biotechs: Amicus Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:FOLD), Ocular Therapeutix Inc (NASDAQ:OCUL), and Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA). Here's a quick look at what's moving shares of FOLD, OCUL, and ARNA.

FDA Clearance Sends Amicus Stock To New Highs

Amicus Therapeutics stock is up 25% to trade at $12.94 -- and earlier hit a new 22-month high of $13.09 -- after scoring Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance to submit a new drug application (NDA) for its Fabry disease drug. It's been a banner year for FOLD stock, which has more than doubled from its Dec. 30 close at $4.97. 

Despite the strong price action, there are still plenty of bears betting against Amicus stock. Short interest accounts for more than a quarter of FOLD's total available float -- representing more than 18 times the equity's average daily trading volume.

OCUL's NDA Amendment Reverses Some Recent Losses

Ocular Therapeutix stock is up 22% to trade at $7.93, after the company amended the NDA for its DEXTENZA eye drug and requested an extension on the application's target action date. The amendment addresses a manufacturing equipment change that OCUL says addresses "outstanding issues" flagged by the FDA. Today's pop comes on the heels of a rough stretch for OCUL stock, which shed nearly one-third of its value over the previous two sessions.

In light of the recently wild price action, it's getting very expensive to bet on Ocular stock's short-term direction. Specifically, OCUL's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 298% arrives in the 100th percentile of its annual range, indicating that front-month options are pricing in extremely high volatility expectations.

Upbeat Trial Data Sparks Bull Gap for Arena Stock

Arena Pharmaceuticals stock is up a whopping 49% to trade at $27.40, fresh off a new annual high of $27.78, after its pulmonary arterial hypertension drug ralinepag met the primary goal of a mid-stage study. ARNA spent most of this year range-bound below resistance at its 50-week moving average, but its positive momentum has accelerated since the stock closed above this trendline in late June. Thanks to today's bull gap, the shares are now up 93% year-to-date.

Arena shares are quite likely benefiting from a short squeeze today. Short interest represents more than 26% of the equity's total available float, and it would take nearly a week to cover all of these bearish bets at ARNA's average daily trading volume.

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