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Healthcare

Durect says anesthetic shows positive results in mid-stage trial

* Sees starting enrollment for late-stage trial in Q1 2010

* Shares up 14 pct in premarket trade

Dec 17 (Reuters) - Durect Corp DRRX.O said its experimental long-acting local anesthetic for the treatment of post-surgical pain showed positive results in a mid-stage trial, sending its shares up 14 percent in premarket trade.

The drug, Posidur, showed a consistent reduction of pain scores in parallel with a reduction of opioid use in favor of Posidur versus dummy drug in the 60-patient study, the company said in a statement.

These reductions were not statistically significant given the size of the study, it said.

There was a comparable safety profile between the two groups in the study and Posidur appeared well tolerated, the company added.

“We look forward to commencing enrollment of the U.S. Phase III program in the first quarter of 2010,” Durect Chief Executive James Brown said in a statement.

In 2006, Durect entered into a deal with privately held Nycomed to jointly develop Posidur.

Shares of the company were up 14 percent in premarket trade. They closed at $2.18 Wednesday on Nasdaq.

Reporting by Shailesh Kuber in Bangalore; Editing by Aradhana Aravindan

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