What happened

Shares of Compugen (CGEN -3.94%), a clinical-stage biotech company that specializes in immunology therapies to treat cancer, saw its shares rise 16.5% on Wednesday. The stock closed on Tuesday at $1.03, then opened on Wednesday at $1.01, before jumping to $1.23 in the late afternoon and closing at $1.20. The stock has been volatile, with a 52-week low of $0.51 and a 52-week high of $4.88. So far this year, the stock is down more than 72%.

So what

There were a couple of factors that combined to lift the stock. It was a good day in general for growth stocks after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell indicated the Fed might slow the rate of its interest rate climbs in December. That's good for growth stocks such as Compugen that depend on financing to help fund their operations.

The biotech company also announced that it was sending CEO Anat Cohen-Dayag and other members of its management team to speak at a JMP Securities Hematology and Oncology Summit on Dec. 6. It's likely the company will have early trials data on one or both of its lead cancer therapies, COM701, an anti-PVRIG antibody, and COM902, an anti-TIGIT therapy to fight solid cancers.

It has been a wild month for Compugen. The stock slid when it reported greater-than-expected losses in the third quarter, but then the stock climbed as it announced it was eligible for a $7.5 million milestone payment from AstraZeneca (AZN 0.20%) because AstraZeneca had begun a clinical trial for AZD2936,  a therapy derived from COM902. 

Now what

It won't be surprising to see Compugen fall back a bit on Thursday, knowing the stock's volatility. In the long run, investors will want to see promising clinical trial results and eventually an approved therapy for the Israel-based company.