Celsion shares jump after bullish online report

Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:35pm EST

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(Reuters) - Shares of Celsion Corp (CLSN.O) jumped 17 percent on Monday after an investment website said the stock could rise significantly if results from a key study of its ThermoDox liver cancer treatment are positive.

The drug development company is expected to release data of the Phase III study in January, and if the drug is successful, "the opportunity for share price appreciation is astounding," investment website Seeking Alpha said Monday.

A company spokesman did not return a call seeking comment.

Celsion Chief Executive Michael Tardugno, in an interview with Reuters earlier this year, said the treatment, intended for liver cancer patients who are not eligible for resection surgery, could be a $1 billion therapy.

About 750,000 new cases of liver cancer are diagnosed each year. The World Health Organization has predicted that by 2020, liver cancer will surpass lung cancer as the No. 1 cancer worldwide.

Celsion's shares ended up $1.14 at $7.80 Monday on Nasdaq. The stock has rallied almost 47 percent over the past week.

On the options front, overall volume on the company Monday was more than five times the daily average, with 23,000 calls and 9,900 puts traded, according to options analytics firm Trade Alert.

The most active contract was the February 2013 $12 call. One player sold 1,500 February $7 strike calls on the stock and bought 2,250 February $12 strike calls, probably rolling a position from in-the-money to out-of-the-money calls, said WhatsTrading.com options strategist Frederic Ruffy.

(Reporting by Susan Kelly and Doris Frankel in Chicago; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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