Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:RIGL) is wafting up nearly 50% Tuesday afternoon after reporting solid results for an experiment drug and receiving a price-target upgrade from Piper Jaffray.
For those unfamiliar with RIGL, it’s a clinical-stage biotech in the areas of immunology, oncology and immuno-oncology. It has several drugs undergoing clinical trials, such as fostamatinib, as well as two oncology products in phase-1 development.
RIGL stock is a highly volatile security, trading from as low as $1.88 to as high as $4.06 in the past year. Shares of Rigel are now up 28% so far in 2016, and 70% over the past month.
RIGL Stock’s Good News
Today’s huge move was initiated by company reports that its fostamatinib drug for autoimmune platelet disease met its phase-3 goals.
According to Rigel, 18% of patients saw a positive response to the treatment, while the placebo group did not. Here’s Rigel CEO Raul Rodriguez:
“These data demonstrate the potential benefit of fostamatinib for chronic ITP patients who are in need of new treatment options. We believe that fostamatinib has significant commercial potential given that it has a unique mechanism of action that may work where other products have failed.”
Piper Jaffray responded by upgrading its target on RIGL stock to $11, or 300%-plus upside from Monday’s close. According to Jaffray, the 18% response rate to the drug “leaves little room for error,” but with the results the company is “in good shape.”
Rigel stock surged on the news, backed by technical support at the $2.62 level. With today’s move, RIGL is now way above its near- and long-term moving averages, and well into overbought territory.
The analyst community as a whole remains bullish, with all five analysts covering Rigel rating it a buy or better.
As of this writing, John Kilhefner did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
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