Columbia Laboratories, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBRX) is seeing a massive volume explosion this morning. The company reported an update on its Phase III trial of Prochieve, a gel which aims to help preterm birth rate declines. In short, it is designed to lower premature birth. It and and Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE: WPI) said that PROCHIEVE 8% significantly reduced incidence of preterm birth at less than or equal to 32 6/7 weeks gestation versus placebo.
The primary result showed that vaginal progesterone cuts the rate of preterm birth, which is said to affect 10 to 12% of all pregnancies in the United States with a cost of some $26 billion per year.
In just the first 9 minutes of trading and after the pre-market trading, Columbia Labs is seeing a 31% gain to $1.98 and it hit a new 52-week high of $2.00 per share with a new 52-week range of $0.80 to $2.00. More importantly, there have been a whop[ping 4.5 million shares traded against an average volume of only about 200,000 shares per day.
UPDATE AT 3:15 PM EST: Shares are up 15.2% at $1.74 and the trading volume is now 11.44 million shares.
The market cap after the pop is some $160 million, making many hope that more gains are possible simply due to a small market cap.
Watson shares are also higher with a 2.6% gain to $50.86 versus a 52-week trading range of $37.26 to $52.20. Volume in Watson is much more normal at 325,000 shares against normal volume of 1.54 million shares per day.
JON C. OGG