Sophiris Bio Tops Dollar-Stock Gainers on Trial Success of Cancer Treatment

 | Jun 09, 2016 | 5:53 PM EDT
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This article has been updated to reflect post-market gains of Sophiris Bio shares

Shares of Sophiris Bio (SPHS) surged as much as 70% in post-market trading Thursday, on news that its prostate-cancer treatment, Topsalysin, was successful in a phase-two "proof of concept" study.

"The one-time administration of Topsalysin was well tolerated with no serious adverse events and no new safety signals being reported," the company said in a Thursday statement. "Topsalysin demonstrated an ability to ablate tumor cells in 50% of patients (9/18 patients) six months after treatment in a patient population with pre-identified, clinically significant prostate cancer," the company added.

Meanwhile, shares of Ultra Petroleum (UPLMQ) -- which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May and now trades on over-the-counter markets -- climbed more than 17% Thursday, at some points pulling shares into $2 territory.

Ultra Petroleum shares -- which were de-listed from the New York Stock Exchange in May and now trades as UPLMQ -- were chiefly buoyed on a spike in natural-gas prices, which climbed 5.4% Thursday to $2.60 per million British thermal units.

Ultra, a member of Real Money's Stressed Out watch list, was ultimately pressured into filing for Chapter 11 after failing to make a $26 million interest payment on its nearly $4 billion in debt that was due in April, prompting a one-month grace period.

Ultra Petroleum's assets, which were estimated with a range of $1 billion to $10 billion in a May 2 court filing, are largely tied to natural gas reserves, and equity holders appear to believe Ultra's positiion in restructuring court is improving.

Development-stage biopharm company Cellceutix (CTIX) was also among the top dollar-stock winners Thursday, climbing more than 5% in midday trading to $1.62 on news that a U.S. district court granted Cellceutix's request to dismiss a class-action lawsuit.

The dismissal of the suit, which was brought against the company by New York's Rosen Law Firm last August, questioning the legitimacy of Cellceutix's reseach and development, was hailed Thursday by Michael Sullivan, Cellceutix's lead counsel.

"From the outset, of this case, it was our opinion that the claims were both meritless and frivolous, so we were gratified that after careful consideration, to see Judge [Katherine Polk] Failla agree to dismiss this case in its entirety," he said in a company statement.

Please note that due to factors including low market capitalization and/or insufficient public float, we consider Sophiris Bio, Celleceutix and Ultra Petroleum to be small-cap stocks. You should be aware that such stocks are subject to more risk than stocks of larger companies, including greater volatility, lower liquidity and less publicly available information, and that postings such as this one can have an effect on their stock prices.

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