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Midday Wrap: Biotech Fever, Failed-Merger Monday: StockTwits

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Biotech fever spread on StockTwits.com in the wake of AstraZeneca's (AZN) rejection of Pfizer's (PFE) $118 billion "final offer" for the company. InterMune  (ITMN), MannKind  (MNKD), Pfizer and AstraZeneca were among the top-trending tickers on the site Monday morning.

InterMune made headlines after publishing positive clinical data for a pulmonary fibrosis treatment. Analysts said Monday that the data should speed U.S. approval, leading to resubmission of the drug to the FDA sooner than initially expected.

Some analysts also said the data could make the company an acquisition target. The stock jumped 14% on the news.

$ITMN InterMune Sees Pirfenidone NDA Resubmitted in Coming Weeks, this is HUGE ? gregpap (@gregpap) May. 19 at 06:18 AM

I went full clinical data geek comparing $ITMN & Boehringer IPF drugs. $ITMN's pirfenidone emerges looking strong --> http://stks.co/e0ZNl ? Adam Feuerstein (@adamfeuerstein) May. 19 at 06:18 AM

Analysts at Stifel Nicolaus boosted their InterMune price target $5 to $51 this morning. Leerink Swann upgraded InterMune to market outperform from market perform. Goldman Sachs maintained a buy rating with a $44 price target, saying that expected drug approval would provide a catalyst for shares. And UBS analyst Matthew Roden said the drug would make InterMune a "realistic takeout candidate."

MannKind also rose on hopes for U.S. drug approval. Shares climbed nearly 6.6% by 11:30 a.m. after a series of bullish analyst notes in the past week predicted the FDA would approve MannKind's inhaled insulin treatment for diabetics named Afrezza.

@BIguy Many top analyst are predicting an early approval. Probably a pretty good assessment. ? Michael (@YazzJr) May. 19 at 10:58 AM

Pfizer shares climbed as well on hopes that AstraZeneca's rejection of its acquisition offer would encourage the company to do more lucrative things with its cash than buy a U.K. pharmaceutical company for the tax rate. Some investors believe Pfizer may go shopping for U.S. companies with promising pipelines or, if taxes really were the merger catalyst, an Irish drug company.

At the time of publication the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.

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