Investors were smelling news at the end of last week when shares of Amarin Corp (AMRN) started to rise on the back of a big volume boost, as call options also went crazy. Shares opened the new trading week relatively flat, but on Tuesday news hit the wires that looks to have justified Amarin's rapid price run.

During the morning hours of the trading day the announcement came that the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) had finally published notification of the awarding of the patent that Amarin had been seeking to protect its AMR-101 treatment for high triglycerides, which currently stands before the FDA in search of a market approval.

Shares immediately spiked by well over ten percent on the news and volume picked up just as heavily with over sixteen million shares traded before two o'clock.

The initial denial by the USTPO to issue Amarin its patent had led to a serious bout of volatility with the stock, but Tuesday's news adds a bit of new found certainty to the situation and sets the company up for the next stage of development - which could be the landing of a major partner.

It's been speculated before that the company would seek a partner to help market and distribute AMR-101, should it receive approval and reach commercialization, and such speculation ran shares to nearly twenty dollars last year.

Shares quickly came back down to earth when a deal never materialized, but with an approval decision growing closer, the buyout and/or partnership talk will most likely pick up steam again, and the share price might pick up some steam of its own.

While the patent news is big, whatever comes next could be bigger.

The general market consensus is that AMR-101 gets the nod of approval, so it was only the patent news that may have had any potential partners waiting to properly value the company and its flagship product. With that concern no longer an issue, investors are left to wonder what comes next.

Partnership or approval?

The patent news could just have been a teaser.

Disclosure: No position.

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