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 drug developer Curis (Nasdaq: CRIS) spiked today, gaining as much as 16% in intraday trading on heavier-than-average volume.

So what: Curis' stock was surging today thanks to a presentation by the company at the American Association for Cancer Research's annual meeting. The company showed off preclinical data from three of its drug development candidates. In its press release, Curis said:

The data demonstrate that Curis' cancer platform can be utilized to generate a range of highly differentiable small molecule inhibitors for cancer with varying functions, molecular composition and potential therapeutic utility in diverse cancer indications.

Now what: This kind of information is like catnip for drug-developer investors. Getting a new drug to the finish line is no easy task, and these companies rack up significant losses in the process. So any milestone signs that a drug -- or, better still, multiple drugs -- is making positive progress is a good sign for investors.

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Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not have a financial interest in any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter @KoppTheFool or on his RSS feed. The Fool's disclosure policy prefers dividends over a sharp stick in the eye.