Drug Stock Nearly Doubles After FDA Approves PTSD Study

Alkermes said its schizophrenia drug met late-stage study goals

Nov 29, 2018 at 10:16 AM
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The shares of Tonix Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:TNXP) have shot up 76.57% to trade at $6.71, on news the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drugmaker's late-stage study for its post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment. The trial will launch in the first-quarter of next year, with preliminary data expected in the first half of 2020.

While this early morning pop puts the shares on pace for their best day ever, the drug stock is still running out of steam near $7.20 -- a region that's kept a lid on TNXP since a late-September bear gap, and marks its pre-gap lows. This volatility is nothing new for the security, based on its 120-day historical volatility of 176.1%, a new annual high. Plus, it's 79% year-to-date in today's trading session, thanks in part to a nearly 66% one-day plunge in late July, after the company halted a late-stage study of its military-related PTSD drug.

 Alkermes Plc (NASDAQ:ALKS) is also in the spotlight today, after the company reported positive data for its schizophrenia treatment. ALKS said patients taking its antipsychotic drug, ALKS 3831, gained less weight than those using Eli Lilly's (LLY) Olanzapine. The company said it will submit a marketing application to the FDA next summer.

Nevertheless, ALKS stock is down 1% in early trading at $36.50. The shares have been trending lower since a late-April bear gap, with their 120-day and 200-day moving averages emerging as stiff resistance. Year-to-date, the security has shed roughly 33%, and hit a two-year low of $32.61 on Nov. 15.

The shares are at risk of bearish backlash from the brokerage bunch, should this weakness continue. Five of 12 analysts still maintain a "strong buy" on Alkermes stock, while the average 12-month price target of $49.15 is a nearly 34% premium to current trading levels.


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