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New Analyst Coverage Sends This Biotech Stock Soaring

By Sean Williams - Apr 3, 2013 at 1:13PM

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An outperform rating and a $9 price target would give this small-cap biotech the potential for almost 80% upside from yesterday's closing price.

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 Astex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ASTX), a biotechnology company with a focus on oncology and hematologic treatments, jumped as much as 15% after RBC Capital Markets initiated coverage on the company.

So what: Very early this morning, RBC Capital initiated Astex Pharmaceuticals with an "outperform" rating and a price target of $9, which is nearly 80% higher than where it closed yesterday. In addition, Astex also outlined that it will be discussing data on certain aspects of its pipeline at the American Association for Cancer Research's annual meeting in the coming days. Shares of the company have risen more than 80% over the past five weeks.

Now what: I've been saying for the better part of a year now that Astex was one of the best risk-versus-reward biotech companies. Astex has Dacogen, which is an FDA-approved treatment for myelodysplastic syndrome, and an EU-approved treatment for acute myeloid leukemia. On top of Dacogen, Astex has five clinical studies currently in phase 2, an additional five currently in phase 1, as well as multiple preclinical studies. It boasts partnerships with GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Novartis, and has a debt-free balance sheet with $138.2 million in cash. Honestly, what more could you ask for in a small-cap biotech?

Craving more input? Start by adding Astex Pharmaceuticals to your free and personalized watchlist so you can keep up on the latest news with the company.

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