2 Penny Stocks Rising on Collaboration Announcements

ATHX shares have had a big year

Jun 7, 2018 at 9:50 AM
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Small-cap stocks have been generating a lot of buzz recently, and just yesterday we identified three surging penny stocks. We'll keep that trend going today and look into the news surrounding healthcare names Athersys, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATHX) and Ophthotech Corp (NASDAQ:OPHT). Shares of both ATHX and OPHT are making big moves today, after the companies revealed new collaborations.

Athersys, Healios Make Another Agreement

Stem cell expert Athersys is trading up 6.1% at $2.96, already tapping a three-year high of $3.08, thanks to news the company is expanding its collaboration with Japan's Healios. Under the agreement, Healios gets the rights to Athersys' MultiStem therapy for $20 million in fees. This comes after Healios invested roughly $21 million in ATHX back in March.

Today's rally is nothing new for the shares as they've been climbing fast since an early March bottom of $1.29. This news could cause some ATHX short sellers to begin to cover. As it stands now, 8.6% of the float is controlled by short sellers, equating to 18 days' worth of buying power, based on average daily volumes.

Gene Therapy Collaboration Lifts OPHT Stock

Meanwhile, Ophthotech -- which focuses on diseases related to the eye -- is up 31.2% at $3.67, a new annual high, following its announcement of a licensing deal with the University of Florida and University of Pennsylvania to develop gene therapies. This is a much-needed move for OPHT, which had been stuck in a series of lower highs since peaking at $3.60 back in November. On a longer-term basis, the picture is even more troubling, as the shares suffered a monumental bear gap back in late 2016, falling from around $40 to around $5. Not a single analyst currently has a "buy" rating on the security, so if nothing else a sustained push higher could possibly draw some bullish attention from the Street.



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