Keep an Eye on Ariad Pharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca, and XOMA Today

Don't let it get away!

Keep track of the stocks that matter to you.

Help yourself with the Fool's FREE and easy new watchlist service today.

Good morning fellow Fools! It's time to take a look at the post-Thanksgiving movers in health care.

Ariad Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ARIA  ) is continuing to move lower after its monstrous rebound early last week. As a refresher, Ariad shares soared nearly 95% in a two day span following a positive opinion from the Committee for Human Medicinal Products of the European Medicines Agency for the continued availability of the company's leukemia drug Iclusig. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration put a partial hold on Iclusig recently due to an increased risk of blood clotting. Instead of pulling the drug from the market, however, the EMA decided to make five recommendations to minimize the risk of adverse vascular events.

My take is that the market appeared to think -- at least initially -- that the FDA would follow the EMA's lead on Iclusig, which was the real reason for the soaring share price. Now that the news is settling in a bit, I think investors would be wise to exercise caution with Ariad going forward. The EMA could easily place a hold on the drug if these measures don't reduce adverse events, and the FDA is well known to have a mind of its own in these matters.

AstraZeneca  (NYSE: AZN  ) looks to move higher today based on the continued development of its type 2 diabetes franchise. Earlier this month, AstraZeneca and partner Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY  ) received a positive opinion for their diabetes drug Xigduo from the EMA. A final decision on the drug is expected within the first half of next year, and an approval would add yet another drug to AstraZeneca's already formidable franchise. Although AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers face still competition in the diabetes market from Novo Nordisk, their multi-pronged approach to the disease is likely to help increase their share of a multi-billion dollar market. As such, Foolish investors should definitely keep a close watch on this dynamic duo going forward.

XOMA (NASDAQ: XOMA  ) could be in for a big post-Thanksgiving move today based on news that the biotech-focused hedge fund Baker Brothers has been snapping up the company's shares as of late. Specifically, the fund now owns more than $100 million in XOMA, and their optimism has paid off handsomely so far this year. Based on the positive clinical development of the company's lead antibody gevokizumab in a wide variety of inflammatory conditions, XOMA shares have nearly doubled year to date.

Although this rise has certainly been impressive, the best may be yet to come. A few weeks ago, XOMA announced compelling proof-of-concept data from two different studies for gevokizumab. During the initial data release, XOMA said it'll move forward with plans to conduct a late-stage trial for gevokizumab as a treatment for pyoderma gangrenosum, a rare type of skin ulcer. And recently, XOMA decided to go forward with a second late-stage trial to study the antibody in erosive osteoarthritis of the hand.

Looking ahead to 2014, XOMA is expected to release top-line data for its late-stage opthalmology trials for gevokizumab called EYEGUARD, where the antibody is being assessed in a diversity of ocular ailments. With this many clinical catalysts coming up, Foolish investors should definitely dig deeper into this developmental-stage biopharma.

Another top stock for you to watch
The market stormed out to huge gains across 2013, leaving investors on the sidelines burned. However, opportunistic investors can still find huge winners. The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has just hand-picked one such opportunity in our new report: "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014." To find out which stock it is and read our in-depth report, simply click here. It's free!

Read/Post Comments (1) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On November 29, 2013, at 12:34 PM, mpr120001 wrote:

    The FDA will allow this drug to proceed due to this is the only option available and they will get sued and the deaths of everyone who needs this drug is in their hands which already run with blood.

Add your comment.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2746649, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/30/2016 1:36:23 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,325.17 181.72 1.00%
S&P 500 2,169.09 17.96 0.83%
NASD 5,311.61 42.46 0.81%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/30/2016 1:20 PM
ARIA $13.57 Down -0.14 -1.02%
Ariad Pharmaceutic… CAPS Rating: **
AZN $33.05 Down -0.01 -0.02%
AstraZeneca CAPS Rating: ****
XOMA $0.45 Down +0.00 -0.27%
XOMA CAPS Rating: **
BMY $53.99 Up +0.12 +0.22%
Bristol-Myers Squi… CAPS Rating: ****