Pharmaceutical stocks continue to soar, and marijuana pharma is caught up in the excitement, as more and more states, and countries decriminalize the drug either for recreational use, or for medical use.
GW Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: GWPH) is one company that has been a big part of the hype surrounding medicinal uses of marijuana. GWPH has absolutely soared this year from a low of about $8.50 to it’s current 52 week high right now of $106.20. So if you got in early on this one a $10,000 investment last year, is now worth over $120,000. Now that will definitely make you high.
So why is GW Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: GWPH) up $10.82 or 11.25% today alone? Well part of the buzz is centered around the closing of it’s public offering of 1.7 million ADR shares for net proceeds about $170 million. The associated road shows for the offering has generated a lot of attention for the marijuana pharma company.
GW Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: GWPH) flagship drug, Sativex was already approved in several other countries as early as 2005, and received fast track designation bye the FDA. As per the company’s website, Sativex
“is a cannabinoid medicine for the treatment of spasticity due to multiple sclerosis which is also in development in cancer pain and neuropathic pain of various origins”.
There is a lot of excitement and anticipation around the uses of Sativex as a pain control medicine for cancer patients. It’s a large market, and one that would be well served by a non opiod pain killer that wouldn’t be nearly as addictive for long time users.
GWPH’s other candidate, Epidiolex cannabidiol received orphan drug status this year for epilepsy in young children, another large market.
Dicerna Pharmaceuticals Inc (DRNA) is up 18% today, or $3.48 to $22.34, thanks to positive pre clinical trial data for its DCR-PH1, which treats hyperoxaluria, a rare liver disorder. Compared to GWPH, the market for DCR-PH1 is rather limited, but still, it is creating a lot of buzz for biotech investors today. This is likely a short lived spike, as profit taking will ensue later today.
Meanwhile, ZAGG Inc (NASDAQ:ZAGG) is up over 6% today, up 31 cents to $5.17. This is the first time in almost a year that ZAGG has been back over the $5 mark after many earnings disappointments this past year. To be clear, there is no big news today to explain the rise by ZAGG today. There was a large block trade at the end of day Friday, and this seems to have been looked at as favorable by technical traders. Zagg has already surpassed it’s average daily trading volume and looks to be on a breakout.
Zagg announces earnings August 5, 2014, but it could be possible that some preliminary numbers have leaked and they are positive. Another possibility is that a buyout could be in the works for the once high flying manufacturer of smartphone protection accessories.
There has been some large call option volume in the August $5.0o calls today, though nothing so sizable as to give a nod to any insider leaks.