While equity markets edged lower Tuesday, one small cap stock in the biotechnology sector surged, extending its gains from previous trading sessions. Shares of Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ACHN) , a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of treatment for infectious diseases, have surged in early trading on Tuesday on ongoing buyout speculation.
Stock Continues to Gain Momentum
After surging more than 47% in Monday’s trading session, shares of Achillion Pharmaceuticals gained another 83% on Tuesday to close at $7.79. The trading volume of 27.15 million is more than 10 times the daily average volume of 2.66 million. With the entire trading day still left, Achillion shares could see a significant spike in volume.
Achillion Pharmaceuticals shares have now gained more than 170% in the last three trading sessions. Despite the surge, the stock is still trading below its 52-week high of $8.49. However, the surge has pushed the small cap stock above its 50-day and 200-day moving averages. The stock’s MACD has also crossed the signal line and the zero-line, which is a strong bullish signal.
Buyout Rumors Spark Rally
The rally in Achillion Pharmaceuticals shares has been sparked by rumors of a takeover. The takeover speculation began after Merck (MRK) announced the acquisition of the company’s rival Idenix Pharmaceuticals Inc. (IDIX) .
Achillion Pharmaceuticals shares have got a further boost following news that the U.S. FDA has allowed the company to conduct trials in patients with hepatitis C.
Milind Deshpande, Ph.D., President and CEO of Achillion Pharmaceuticals, noted that the company remains focused on developing regimens using ACH-3422 and ACH-3102, its second-generation Phase 2 NS5A inhibitor. Deshpande added that the second half of 2014 will feature multiple milestones in that program.