Why AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Shares Popped Today

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 specialty drug company AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  (NASDAQ: ACRX  ) climbed 10% today after its quarterly results and corporate update impressed Wall Street.

So what: AcelRx has soared over the past year on strong progress of its post-operating pain control drug Zalviso, and today's Q1 results -- $27.6 million versus the consensus of just $4.9 million -- coupled with an upbeat outlook only reinforce that positive trend. In fact, management expects to trigger the first of its Grunenthal regulatory milestones in mid-2014 with the submission of its European marketing application, which should result in a $5 million payment in Q3.

Now what: Don't expect the momentum to slow anytime soon. "As we begin 2014, we are advancing our U.S. commercial capability and preparing for a potential Zalviso approval in third quarter of 2014," said President and CEO Richard King. "We are also readying Zalviso for MAA filing in Europe, and preparing to initiate a Phase 3 clinical program for ARX-04 in the second half of this year." So while the shares remain far too speculative for average investors, Zalviso's market potential might be something for biotech-savvy Fools to investigate. 

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