(Adds details, share movement)
Feb 27 Pacira Pharmaceuticals Inc said
a late-stage study showed the painkiller, Exparel, significantly
reduced pain for a wider range of patients after surgery,
sending its shares up 5 percent in premarket trading.
Exparel, currently used to manage post-surgical pain at the
site of an operation, was tested to numb a major adjacent nerve.
This expands the use of the drug to cases where it is difficult
to inject a painkiller directly into the area of pain.
The study, which evaluated 183 patients who received either
266 mg of Exparel or a placebo, showed that patients taking the
medicine experienced significant reduction in pain over 72
Exparel, launched in the United States in April 2012, is a
sustained-release formulation of a local anesthetic,
bupivacaine. It generated sales of $30.5 million in the quarter
ended Dec. 31.
The treatment combines bupivacaine with the company's
DepoFoam technology, a drug delivery system that releases the
medicine over a period of time.
Pacira said it expected to submit a marketing application
for the wider use of Exparel to the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration in the second quarter.
The Parsippany, New Jersey-based company's shares closed at
$78.05 on the Nasdaq on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Esha Dey and Natalie Grover in Bangalore; Editing
by Joyjeet Das and Don Sebastian)