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Cassava Sciences stock pops after rival experiences setback in Alzheimer’s research

Shares of Cassava are moving higher on news that its rival Roche suffered a setback in its Alzheimer's drug research trial.

Video transcript

RACHELLE AKUFFO: It's time for "Triple Play," the three stocks that we're watching in the final 30 minutes of trading. We have Cassava Sciences, Moderna, and Hasbro on deck. We'll start with my pick, which is Cassava Sciences, ticker SAVA. The clinical stage biotech firm is up about 8 and 1/2% there. It was up higher before paring some of those gains. And it's benefiting the most after rival biotech firm Roche's Alzheimer disease treatment, Gantenerumab, failed in stage three trials when it didn't meet the main goal of slowing clinical decline.

Now this is the second setback this year for Roche's Alzheimer treatments. And that, of course, then put the focus on Cassava's candidate, simufilam. Now other competitors in the space with similar treatments in phase III trials include Biogen and Eli Lilly, those both enjoying gains on the day as well. Now overall, healthcare stocks have been among the strongest performing sectors year to date, but SAVA stock, though, down about 7% year to date, Seana.

SEANA SMITH: Yeah, Rachelle, well, we're seeing a number of healthcare stocks leading to the upside today. Cassava, of course, being one of those gainers. It's interesting here when you take a look at today's jump. It's the biggest jump that we've seen in just about seven weeks, obviously, outpacing many of its peers.

The volume that we're seeing treated on Cassava today quadruple the average levels. This really highlights the interest that investors see in this stock today. And of course, the volatility, we have to point out, this has been considered a meme stock as of late. A high number of short sellers in this stock, so that, of course, has dictated the moves over the last several months.