Biotech Movers: Ariad Sinks, YM Soars

by Kyle Woodley | December 17, 2012 9:10 am

[1]Here’s a look at recent major developments and share moves[2] in biotech stocks:

Ariad Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ARIA[3]): Investors fleeing ARIA sent shares down more than 20% after the company received the green light to put its first drug on the market, though at an onerous price tag. The FDA gave early approval[4] to Iclusig, a drug developed to treat chronic myeloid leukemia in patients who find Gleevec and other similar drugs ineffective. However, the price for the pill will be $115,000 annually — 15% higher than its competitors.

Oncolytics Biotech (NASDAQ:ONCY[5]): Oncolytics’ stock soared 31% between last Thursday and Friday after the company reported progress on Reolysin in treating platinum-refractory head and neck cancers. It showed Reolysin, in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel, was statistically significantly better than carboplatin and paclitaxel alone[6] at stabilizing or shrinking metastatic tumors.

YM BioSciences (AMEX:YMI[7]): YM BioSciences spiked about 78% on Wednesday after announcing it had agreed to a buyout bid from Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD[8]). Gilead said it would acquire the Canadian firm for $510 million in cash[9], or $2.95 per share, representing a roughly 80% premium from last Tuesday’s closing price. YM is behind the trial-stage drug CYT387, designed to treat the blood disorder myelofibrosis.

Acadia Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ACAD[10]): Acadia shares jumped 13% last Wednesday after the company announced it had bagged $86 million in private equity financing — with common stock to be sold at $4.43 per share — to help support completion of its Phase III pimavanserin program, where it is testing the drug’s efficacy in treating Parkinson’s disease psychosis. ACAD shares slid back somewhat throughout the rest of the week, settling at a five-day gain of 4.6% by Friday. The private placement is expected to close today.

Acura Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ACUR[11]): Acura Pharmaceuticals cruised to 80%-plus gains last week after the company launched Nexafed, a next-gen cold medicine designed to thwart the manufacture of methamphetamine[12]. The drug features a technology that disrupts the conversion of pseudoephedrine into meth, a drug abused by hundreds of thousands of Americans every year.

Kyle Woodley[13] is the Deputy Managing Editor of[14]. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. Follow him on Twitter at @IPKyleWoodley[15].

  1. [Image]:
  2. recent major developments and share moves:
  3. ARIA:
  4. FDA gave early approval:
  5. ONCY:
  6. was statistically significantly better than carboplatin and paclitaxel alone:
  7. YMI:
  8. GILD:
  9. acquire the Canadian firm for $510 million in cash:
  10. ACAD:
  11. ACUR:
  12. thwart the manufacture of methamphetamine:
  13. Kyle Woodley:
  15. @IPKyleWoodley:

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