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 (NASDAQ: ASTX  ) , 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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  • Report this Comment On August 28, 2013, at 3:40 PM, Hope4GoodFuture wrote:

    Sean, do you know why Abingworth (one of the largest shareholders w/ a seat on the Board) sold all its shares over the last 2 quarters? Seems very strange.

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