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Why Chelsea Therapeutics International Ltd. Skyrocketed

By Brian D. Pacampara, CFA – Feb 19, 2014 at 12:40PM

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Is this meaningful? Or just another movement?

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 biotechnology company Chelsea Therapeutics International Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHTP) soared 30% today after its symptomatic neurogenic orthostatic hypotension drug, Northera, won U.S. approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

So what: The disorder -- often called NOH -- affects an estimated 80,000 to 150,000 individuals in the United States, so today's news naturally represents big opportunity for the currently unprofitable Chelsea. In fact, Northera is the first and only drug approved to specifically address the symptoms of NOH, such as orthostatic dizziness and lightheadedness, giving analysts plenty of good vibes over Chelsea's growth going forward.

Now what: The FDA approved Northera on "accelerated" basis, allowing Chelsea to deliver the drug to patients while conducting additional confirmatory studies. "The approval of NORTHERA is an extraordinary achievement, one for which I thank patients and their families, investigators and the medical community, our partner Dainippon Sumitomo, and our employees," said Joseph Oliveto, Chelsea president and CEO. "We will now turn our efforts toward delivering NORTHERA to patients with NOH in the United States, an important goal we expect to achieve in the second half of the year." So, while Chelsea might still be too speculative for average investors, today's ultrapositive news, coupled with the fact that the stock remains off more than 10% from its 52-week highs, make it an interesting pick for biotech-savvy Fools.

Brian Pacampara has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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