PhaseRx Inc (NASDAQ:PZRX)
PhaseRx Inc (NASDAQ:PZRX) shares rocketed from the open and closed the regular trading session up over 50%. PZRX gained $0.67 from its close Friday at $1.24 to close today at $1.91. The large move was unusual for a stock that has an Average True Range of just $0.14. The gain was on the back of heavy volume. PZRX traded over 4.2 million shares but the average daily volume for PZRX is just 79,370.
Motivation for traders and investors seems to be from the European equivalent of the Food and Drug Administration, the “European Medicines Agency” (EMA), designating one of PhaseRx’s drug candidates the status of “Orphan Drug”. Such status allows for a more streamlined clinical trial pathway as well as a 10-year market exclusivity for the indication if the drug is ultimately approved for commercialization. The indication that allowed PhaseRx Inc (NASDAQ:PZRX) to receive the Orphan Drug status is ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency – a rare inherited disorder that causes ammonia to accumulate in the blood.
PhaseRx Inc (NASDAQ:PZRX) focuses on developing and commercializing mRNA products for inherited liver diseases. The technology behind Phase Rx’s efforts replaces missing or defective enzymes inside liver cells. The method by which this is achieved is called intracellular enzyme replacement therapy which targets the synthesis of delivered mRNA specifically to the cells of the liver.
PhaseRx Inc (NASDAQ:PZRX) went public in 2016 and at one time traded over $5.50. It has slid significantly from that level but has broken-even for the year and is actually up over 23% YTD. PZRX shares are not able to be traded with options and institutions own more than half the outstanding shares. One of the interesting stats surrounding the stock is that the company is reported to have $1.37 per share on hand. For a stock that is trading below $2, that should bring a level of comfort to some investors. Analysts are mostly neutral on the shares but have given PZRX a consensus price target of $10 – or about 500% above current levels.
I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.
About the author: Marc has a degree in economics and a MSc. in Finance. Over his 20-year career, Marc has worked for global investment firms in Europe and the United States as an analyst, fund manager, and consultant.