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Neurex Says Drug Relieves Chronic Pain

January 14, 1998|Bloomberg News

Neurex Corp. said an initial analysis of data from a late-stage study of its ziconotide drug found it offered significant relief from chronic nerve pain. The news sent shares up 26% Tuesday. Neurex stock rose $3.69 to $17.75 on Nasdaq, with heavy trading of 813,500 shares, more than four times the average daily three-month volume for the stock. "We were blown away by the difference between the two groups in the neuropathic pain trial. This appears to confirm that the drug works in these difficult-to-treat patients," said Chairman and Chief Executive Paul Goddard. Neuropathic pain is caused by conditions ranging from failed back surgery to a nerve infection such as shingles that leave the nerves chronically and painfully stimulated. Goddard said he plans to submit the drug for expedited approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration at the end of this year. "If that happens, we could be at the market halfway through 1999," Goddard said. He predicted the Menlo Park-based company will break even or turn a profit about the same time it starts shipping the drug.

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