Why Ariad Pharmaceuticals (ARIA) is Soaring

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Ariad Pharmaceuticals (ARIA) is up, up, and away, after good news on Friday had the stock extending its rally through to Monday. Over the last two trading days, the stock has soared 82.4%.

The European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) on Friday ruled that Ariad could continue marketing leukemia drug Iclusig, albeit with restrictions in place. These restrictions include advising against use in patients with a history of heart attack or stroke. Nonetheless, the decision bolsters Ariad's outlook.

By early afternoon Monday, the pharmaceuticals company had gained 33.6% to $5.05, and 45.15 million shares had changed hands, well over the three-month average daily trading volume of 18.6 million.

Also boosting shares, BMO Capital Markets reiterated a "market perform" rating and upgraded its 12-month price target to $4 from $2.50. However, the investment firm notes the CHMP decision doesn't necessarily mean a positive assessment by the FDA in the U.S.

Shares crashed 88% over October after Iclusig was suspended in the U.S. following studies showing an increase in blood clots and heart issues among medicated patients. In a statement, Ariad said the Iclusig marketing halt was a temporary measure while it "continues to negotiate updates to the U.S. prescribing information".

--Written by Keris Alison Lahiff.

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