Biotech Blasts to Record Highs After Upbeat Trial Data

Options volume is surging as well

Assistant Editor
Jun 28, 2021 at 10:43 AM
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The shares of biotechnology name Intellia Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:NTLA) are soaring this morning, up 48% to trade at $131.92 at last check -- earlier hitting a record high of $144.39 -- after positive data from the company's early-stage trial of its genome-editing candidate, NTLA-2001. The treatment, which is being created in collaboration with Regeneron (REGN), is for transthyretin amyloidosis. In response, no fewer than four analysts raised their price targets, with the highest from H.C Wainwright to $171 from $111. 

Today's abrupt jump has NTLA breaking out past pressure at the $90 level, as well as enjoying a bull gap to record highs. With help from the 30-week moving average, a trendline of close support for over a year, the equity is up around 532% year-over-year. However, the equity could be due for a correction, as per the stock's 14-Day Relative Strength Index (RSI) of 65, which is nearing "overbought" territory. 

Options volume is taking off alongside NTLA's price action. So far, 4,430 calls and 5,280 puts have crossed the tape, which is 11 times what's typically seen at this point. The most active option is the July 130 call, where new positions are being opened. 

Meanwhile, the 6.54 million shares sold short make up a solid 10.9% of Intellia stock's available float. In other words, it would take over a week to buy back these bearish bets, at NTLA's average pace of trading. 

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