Speculators swap shares on possible transaction with big pharma Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Tuesday, 28 June 2011 04:57
penny stocksWill the price continue to rise? Shares of the biopharma Icagen, Inc. (NASDAQ:ICGN) rocketed 164% to $6.33 on Monday after the company confirmed that it was in talks with Pfizer (NASDAQ:PFE) for a possible "transaction" which might include the acquisition of the company.

As we told our premium subscribers on Monday before the heavy pre-market action, Pfizer had filed a disclosure in a regulatory filing that it was in talks with Icagen.  Icagen pointed out in their own press release that no definitive agreement has been reached, but that didn't keep traders from sending the low-float stock soaring during market hours and additionally after-market on Monday. Trading volume on the stock was 13766.74 % higher than usual with 5,506,696 shares trading hands. Approximately 3,000,000 shares are in the float out of 7.50M outstanding with 86% of those owned by insiders.

Icagen focuses on the discovery, development, and commercialization of orally-administered small molecule drugs that modulate ion channel targets. Its drug candidates include ICA-105665, a small molecule compound that targets specific KCNQ ion channels for the treatment of epilepsy and pain, which is in Phase II clinical trial stage; and a compound that targets the sodium channel Nav1.7 for the treatment of pain, which is in Phase I clinical trial stage.

Shares of Pain Therapeutics (NasdaqGS: PTIE) slid another 26% on Monday after Friday's news that the Food and Drug Administration had sent out a complete response letter rejecting the abuse-resistant formulation of oxycodone because it was worried about chemistry, manufacturing, and controls for the drug.  PTIE shares had closed at $9.34 on Thursday before the bad news struck. They opened the next morning at around the $5.30 mark and held that level going into the weekend. On Monday, the sell-off continued before bouncing mid-way thru the trading day.

Just last week, Pfizer got the thumbs up for another abuse-resistant oxycodone therapy when the FDA green-lit Oxecta, the drug Pfizer is developing with Acura Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ACUR).

On Monday the company said in a prepared statement, "In the opinion of Pain Therapeutics, potential regulatory approval of Remoxy in the U.S. is unlikely to occur in less than one year, and could be delayed significantly longer than a year."

Approximately 9,913,000 shares of PTIE changed hands, a 1,569.9 percent increase over its 65-day average volume. The shares fell $1.37 or 25.8 percent to $3.93.

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