U.S. Markets open in 5 hrs 47 mins

Synta Pharma rises as director buys more shares

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp. shot up Friday after the company's biggest shareholder disclosed the purchase of more stock.

THE SPARK: According to a form filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Friday, company director Bruce Kovner bought 200,000 shares of Synta for about $799,000. Earlier this month he bought 2 million shares through a family trust.

According to FactSet, Kovner is the biggest shareholder in Synta and has a 21-percent stake in the company in total.

THE BIG PICTURE: The Lexington, Mass., company does not have any approved drugs. Its experimental products include ganetespib, which is being studied as a treatment for lung cancer and breast cancer. In October, Synta said patients treated with ganetespib had longer overall survival and time-to-disease-progression. However the company reported additional data on June 3, and the stock slumped as investors were disappointed.

Synta is starting a late-stage trial of ganetespib and expects to report results from that study in 2014. Those studies are evaluating ganetespib as a treatment for adenocarcinoma, a type of non-small cell lung cancer.

SHARE ACTION: Shares of Synta gained 48 cents, or 12.5 percent, to close Friday at $4.33. The stock had lost 48 percent of its value since June 3.