NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Ariad Pharmaceuticals  (ARIA) continued its upward surge on Friday, as the stock was climbing more than 26% to $9.50.

By mid-afternoon, stock volume already had surpassed 80 million shares compared with average daily volume of 26.02 million shares. The stock opened at $7.37, hit a low of $7.35 and then soared to a high by midday of $9.83, its highest total in more than three months.

The Daily Mail reported Thursday that multiple industry majors have been circling Ariad since the Food and Drug Administration green-lit Ariad's Ponatinib, a leukemia treatment. The report cited rumors that three international pharma groups, including Eli Lilly  (LLY), have made "friendly approaches" to Ariad and are prepared to offer as much as $20 a share to gain control. Other companies mentioned in the report include GlaxoSmithKline  (GSK) and Shire.

Ariad recently announced that Ponatinib is commercially available to adult patients with refractory chronic myeloid leukemia.

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