* Pfizer will continue to have worldwide rights
* Icagen says Pfizer to pay $5 mln through Dec 2011
* Icagen remains eligible to get $359 mln in milestone
* Icagen shares up 39 pct premarket
Sept 23 (Reuters) - Icagen Inc ICGND.O and Pfizer (PFE.N) extended their worldwide collaboration and licensing deal for the second time through 2011, sending Icagen shares up 39 percent.
The deal, which was signed in August 2007, was extended through Sept. 30 in September last year.
The companies have partnered to identify compounds that target three specific sodium ion channels. By targeting these ion channels, the companies seek to develop effective treatments for serious pain disorders.
Icagen said during the extension period, Pfizer will continue to fund all aspects of the collaboration, including research efforts at both companies, and will provide about $5 million in committed funding to Icagen through December 2011.
Additionally, Icagen remains eligible to receive about $359 million upon achievement of specified milestones, Icagen said in a statement.
Earlier this month, Icagen, which focuses on developing treatments for diseases like epilepsy, pain and inflammation, faced a setback when it suspended enrollment in a trial testing its experimental photosensitive epilepsy drug due to the occurrence of a “serious adverse event.” [ID:nSGE68C0MB]
The company’s shares, which lost about 41 percent since it halted enrolment for the epilepsy drug on Sept. 13, were up 39 percent at $1.50 in Thursday premarket trade. They closed at $1.08 Wednesday on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Krishnakali Sengupta in Bangalore)