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 Emergent BioSolutions (NYSE: EBS) surged 20% Thursday after the biotech company said the U.S. government intends to buy 44.75 million doses of its BioThrax anthrax vaccine.

So what: For a company with a market cap of less than $1 billion, the contract -- in which it will be the government's "sole source" for anthrax vaccine over a five-year period -- is obviously a massive win. Not surprisingly, shares are breaking through 52-week highs on extraordinarily high volume of already more than 2 million shares (versus its three-month average of just 187,000).

Now what: I wouldn't let today's price surge keep me from looking into Emergent. Given that shares still trade at a reasonable forward P/E, BioThrax -- the only anthrax vaccine licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration -- might be worth gaining at least some exposure to. Additionally, with the stock sporting a negative beta of 0.4, Emergent might even be a decent way to smooth volatility in a well-diversified portfolio.

Interested in more info on Emergent BioSolutions? Add it to your watchlist.

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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