April 29, 2020 / 7:37 AM / a month ago

BerGenBio shares more than double on COVID-19 drug trial news

OSLO, April 29 (Reuters) - Shares of Norwegian pharmaceutical company BerGenBio rose nearly 160% on Wednesday after news that a drug it is developing has been selected for a British trial of potential COVID-19 treatments.

The purpose of the trial is both to save lives and get an early indication of the drug’s effectiveness in treating the most vulnerable COVID-19 patients, the company said.

“Bemcentinib has been selected as the first potential treatment to be fast-tracked in a new UK national multi-centre randomised Phase II clinical trial initiative,” BerGenBio said in a statement.

The study will immediately commence in a test of 120 hospitalised patients, of which half will receive the drug and the other half will receive standard treatment.

The shares were up 158% in early trade to 54 Norwegian crowns ($5.20).

At 0724 GMT they were trading at 41.25 crowns, up 99% from Tuesday’s close of 20.95 crowns. ($1 = 10.3773 Norwegian crowns) (Reporting by Terje Solsvik; editing by Jason Neely)

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