UPDATE 1-NeurogesX seeks partners for pain drugs

April 17 Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:26am EDT

April 17 (Reuters) - Pharmaceutical company NeurogesX Inc appointed advisory firm JSB-Partners to help find partners for its neuropathic pain drugs.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in March declined to approve NeurogesX's Qutenza as a treatment for HIV-related pain. The drug is approved in the United States and Europe as a treatment for pain related to shingles.

The setback forced the company to cut 57 percent of its workforce to focus on the development of its most advanced drug candidate, NGX-1998, a liquid formulation of capsaicin, the agent that makes chili peppers hot and is also used in Qutenza.

NeurogesX is planning to start a late-stage trial of NGX-1998 in neuropathic pain indication.

"We are continuing discussions with partner candidates, who see the value in NGX-1998 and share our vision that NGX-1998 can be a very significant product in the treatment of neuropathic pain," Chief Executive Ronald Martell said in a statement.

NeurogesX shares closed at 52 cents on Monday on the Nasdaq.

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