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 , 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.

While you can certainly make huge gains in biotechs like Astex, the best investing approach is to choose great companies and stick with them for the long term. The Motley Fool's free report "3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich" names stocks that could help you build long-term wealth and retire well, along with some winning wealth-building strategies that every investor should be aware of. Click here now to keep reading.

The article New Analyst Coverage Sends This Biotech Stock Soaring originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong. The Motley Fool owns shares of, and recommends, Johnson & Johnson. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. 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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