Shares in Addex jump on positive results in mice of nicotine treatment

Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:57am EDT

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* Drug reverses signs of withdrawal in nicotine-dependent mice

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ZURICH, July 10 (Reuters) - Shares in Addex Therapeutics jumped over 15 percent on Thursday after the biotech company's experimental treatment for nicotine addiction showed positive results in mice.

Results of the preclinical study found Addex' drug ADX71441 helped reverse some of the somatic signs of withdrawal in nicotine-dependent mice and at the highest dose also reversed increased sensitivity to pain known as hyperalgesia.

Even though the drug has not yet been tested in humans, investors seized on the positive news following a period of uncertainty for the Geneva-based firm that last year cut its staff to two following a restructuring.

Traders said the stock could be getting an additional leg-up from investors keen to tap into the Swiss biotech scene following the skyrocketing of peer Santhera, whose shares are worth almost 20 times what they were at the start of the year.

"Many people missed out on the rally in Santhera and for that reason are now buying almost blindly the shares of another company that is similar," said one trader.

By 0836 GMT, shares in Addex were trading up 15.2 percent at 4.94 francs having earlier hit 5.10 francs.

Addex, which also has drugs in mid-stage trials to treat Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia and anxiety, posted a net loss of 14.5 million Swiss francs ($16.3 million) last year. ($1 = 0.8906 Swiss Francs) (Reporting by Ruppert Pretterklieber and Caroline Copley; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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