Why Astex Pharmaceuticals Shares Skyrocketed

Why Astex Pharmaceuticals Shares Skyrocketed

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Astex Pharmaceuticals , a developer of small-molecule therapies focused on treating various types of cancer, soared as much as 26% after reporting positive top-line data for SGI-110 in a mid-stage trial for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia, or AML.

So what: According to Astex's press release, 67 patients with AML -- 50 with refractory/relapsed AML, and 17 treatment-naive patients -- were treated in this study and had a minimum follow-up of three months. The primary endpoint of the study was overall remission rate, of which Astex reported eight remission among refractory/relapsed patients and nine among treatment-naive patients for an overall complete remission rate of 25%. Astex plans to release detailed results of its study in December at the American Society of Hematology's annual meeting.

Now what: Astex may be a small-cap biopharmaceutical company, but it has been cranking out fantastic results over the past year. Astex currently has seven ongoing clinical trials (including SGI-110) and an FDA-approved drug in Dacogen, as well as numerous clinical and preclinical partnerships with some of the pharmaceutical sectors' largest companies. With $133 million in cash and no debt, I'd say Astex certainly deserves a spot on your watchlist moving forward.

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Originally published