Update January 4. Shares of Acadia Pharmaceuticals (ACAD) were up 12% this morning, January 4, before closing with a gain of 11.02% to $31.94.
The action came on rumors that Pfizer (PFE) or another big drug company would make a bid for the biotech on the strength of its lead drug Nuplazid. Nuplazid won U.S. Food & Drug Administration approval back in May for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Acadia is looking to expand the antipsychotic drug’s applications to the treatment if Alzheimer’s.
I haven’t been able to find any facts to support the rumor–which doesn’t mean it’s not true. Pfizer did bid $14 billion in August for Medivation, mostly to secure a single prostate cancer drug Xtandi, so an offer for Acadia wouldn’t be without precedent for Pfizer. Acadia’s market capitalization is just $3.8 billion.
Acadia hasn’t yet delivered much in the way of sales figures on Nuplazid since it was only approved in May, so investors don’t have much information on the drug’s uptake. (In September Acadia reported $1.9 million in deferred revenue from sales.) Nuplazid does address what seems to be a hole in the market since there’s a need for effective antipsychotic drugs with minimal side effects. And even if the drug can’t win approval to treat patients with Alzheimer’s, an FDA go ahead for Nuplazid in treating major depressive disorders and schizophrenia would certainly boost Acadia shares. It’s that prospect that led me to add the stock to my Jubak Picks portfolio.
My experience with spikes on rumors like that today, January 4, is that they do put a stock on traders’ radar screens but that the price gain on the rumor tends to get reversed within days unless subsequent days add from facts to the rumor.