* Says drug reduced asthmatic response to inhaled allergen
* Shares up as much as 65 percent (Recasts, adds CFO comment, updates share movement)
Sept 1 (Reuters) - Icagen Inc ICGN.O said its experimental treatment for allergic asthma met the main goal of reducing asthmatic response to inhaled allergen in a mid-stage trial, sending its shares soaring as much as 65 percent.
In the study, patients who received senicapoc demonstrated an improvement in all measures of asthmatic response, while those who received only dummy drugs had no improvements, the company said in a statement.
“We have received interest from several companies to partner us in this program and we will certainly pursue discussions as appropriate,” Chief Financial Officer Richard Katz told Reuters.
The orally administered compound senicapoc reduced the late asthmatic response to a challenge of inhaled allergen, determined by the decline in the volume of air that can be forcibly exhaled in one second, the company said.
A total of 34 patients with asthmatic responses to inhaled allergen were enrolled at two clinical research centers in the United Kingdom and 31 of them were evaluable for the study goals.
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina-based Icagen, which is looking at strategic alternatives including a potential sale of the company, said it is currently pursuing four proof-of-concept studies in areas of asthma, epilipsy and pain.
“We do not intend to take these programs beyond the proof-of-concept studies without additional capital and that can come in a variety of forms,” Katz said.
Shares of the company were up 30 percent at $1.25 in afternoon trade on Nasdaq. They had touched a 52-week high of $1.59 earlier in the session. (Reporting by Shailesh Kuber and Esha Dey in Bangalore; Editing by Ratul Ray Chaudhuri and Pradeep Kurup)