(Adds analyst comments, updates shares)
Jan 22 Evoke Pharma Inc said its
inhaled version of a generic gastrointestinal drug was found to
be superior in managing symptoms of a bowel disease compared
with the existing oral treatment, sending its shares up as much
as 34 percent.
The results of the mid-stage study, published in a medical
journal, tested a nasal spray of metoclopramide in 89 diabetic
gastroparesis patients dosed four times a day for six weeks.
Gastroparesis, most commonly caused by diabetes, is a
sluggish emptying of food from the stomach, which causes nausea.
It primarily affects women.
Evoke's inhaled version of metoclopramide could generate
over $400 million in peak annual sales, Aegis Capital analyst
Raghuram Selvaraju wrote in a note.
We expect a pivotal study evaluating the treatment to begin
enrollment within the next four or five months, he wrote.
The specialty pharmaceutical company acquired the treatment,
EVK-001, from Questcor Pharmaceuticals in June 2007.
The nasal spray could improve dose absorption and
tolerability as the nature of the disease makes it difficult for
patients to digest oral tablets, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Irina
Rivkind said in a note in November.
Metoclopramide is the only product approved in the United
States to treat gastroparesis, Evoke said.
Other drugs for the condition, such as Johnson & Johnson's
Propulsid, were taken off the market in the United
States due to safety concerns.
The San Diego, California-based company's shares were up
about 25 percent at $12.56 in afternoon trading on the Nasdaq.
(Reporting by Natalie Grover in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb
Chakrabarty and Don Sebastian)