2 Drug Stocks Making Record Moves Today

PTGX is set for its biggest gain ever, while OVID swallows its biggest loss

Managing Editor
Aug 6, 2018 at 2:40 PM
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Stocks are inching higher to start the week, but trade tensions are keeping the Dow in check. Among stocks making notable pushes higher are biopharma names Paratek Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:PRTK) and Protagonist Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:PTGX), while Ovid Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:OVID) is lower. Here's a closer look at what's driving shares of PTRK, PTGX, and OVID today.

FDA Comments Boost Paratek Stock

At last check, Paratek Pharmaceuticals stock was up 9.9% to trade at $10.78, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) staff reviewers said omadacycline, the company's antibiotic for bacterial pneumonia and skin infections, is not inferior to current treatments, despite an "imbalance in mortality" rates. An FDA advisory committee will meet to evaluate the drug's safety in two days.

PRTK is on track for its best day since August 2017, but is still down 40% for 2018. Today's rally does have PRTK shares pacing for a close above their 50-day moving average for only the second time since mid-April, though.

Despite the security's struggles this year, analysts remain committed to the drugmaker. All nine of the brokerages covering PRTK rate it a "buy" or "strong buy," and its average 12-month price target of $34.22 is more than triple its current price. 

Fresh Hopes for Bowel Drug Push PTGX to Top Of Nasdaq

Protagonist Therapeutics stock is up a whopping 63.8% to trade at $11.48, the second-best stock on the Nasdaq today, after announcing promising trial data and $22 million in equity financing for its ulcerative colitis drug. In response, Leerink issued a price-target hike to $21 from $13, while reiterating its "outperform" rating. This is shaping up to be PTGX's biggest single-session percentage gain ever.

Looking at the charts, Protagonist stock had been stuck in the high single-digits since a late-March bear gap pushed the shares south of $10. Today's rally takes the equity back into double-digit territory and above their 80-day moving average, although the security is still down 45% in 2018. 

Ugly Drug Data Buries Ovid Stock

Ovid Therapeutics is down 33.8% to trade at $6.30 -- one of the worst stocks on the Nasdaq today -- after the company reported disappointing mid-stage trial results from OV101, its drug for Angelman syndrome. While the trial met its safety and tolerability goals, two patients experienced seizures as side effects. OVID is on track for its worst day ever, and is currently on the short-sale restricted (SSR) list. 

However, analysts are firmly entrenched in the bullish camp. All six of the brokerages covering OVID rate it  "buy" or "strong buy," while its average 12-month price target of $23.00 is a 266% premium to its current price. A string of downgrades and/or price-target cuts could pressure the security even lower.


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