Shares in Ampio Pharmaceuticals (AMPE) are soaring today after Citigroup analysts initiated coverage on the stock at “buy.” For a company with a market cap south of $350 million, this endorsement is a strong one, and means that both companies currently covering Ampio have issued a positive rating on the stock.
Shares in Ampio opened up 12.4 percent at $6.53 a share and quickly got caught up in the market spike that kicked in after the first ten minutes of trading. The stock saw a huge increase in already-heavy volume at about 9:40 am ET and jumped in price, rising to its intraday high of $7.39 by about 10:15 am ET. After that, the stock retreated along with the broader market, but maintained gains in excess of 15 percent into the afternoon.
Even at its new share price, small-cap biopharma Ampio remains well below that $16 level that Aegis Capital, the other firm with analyst coverage on the stock, raised their price target to on St. Patrick’s Day of this year. The day’s gain also resulted in the stock crossing its 50-day SMA from below, often a bullish indicator. It also kept the stock above its 20-day SMA, which appeared to be acting as a resistance level for much of April before shares crossed that level from below on April 25.
Ampio is focused on developing novel drugs for the market, including treatments for osteoarthritis (Ampion) and diabetic muscular edema (Optina). From the company’s website:
“Ampio is an innovative drug discovery and development company combining scientific, regulatory, and business capabilities to efficiently develop a robust portfolio of novel therapeutic candidates. These therapeutic candidates, if approved, will address significant inflammatory conditions for which limited treatment options exist.
Ampio’s therapeutic product pipeline has been developed through more than two decades of study at leading hospital-based research centers. Rigorous preclinical and clinical research efforts have yielded a diverse portfolio of late-stage product candidates focusing on the world’s most prevalent inflammatory conditions including osteoarthritis and diabetic macular edema.”
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