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Healthcare

UPDATE 2-Avanir to get new patent for neurological disorder drug

* New U.S. patent to extend Zenvia exclusivity to 2025

* Shares rise as much as 10 pct (Adds analyst’s comments, updates share movement)

BANGALORE, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Avanir Pharmaceuticals Inc AVNR.O said it received a notice of allowance of a new patent on its lead drug candidate Zenvia that will extend the period of commercial exclusivity for the neurological disorder pill well into 2025.

Shares of the company, which touched a high of $2.35 earlier in the day, were up 7 percent at $2.28 in morning trade on Nasdaq.

In August, Zenvia -- that treats pseudobulbar affect (PBA), or a condition in which patients cannot control outbursts of crying or laughing -- met the main goal of a late-stage study. [ID:nN11505629]

PBA affects an estimated two million Americans with multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s disease, stroke and other neurological diseases or trauma that can cause brain lesions.

“We were little bit surprised that they got it (new patent) this early. I was expecting it later,” said Summer Street Research analyst Carol Werther, who has a “buy” rating on Avanir shares.

Werther said the new patent on Zenvia is very positive for the company as they now have an actual pattern on the dose that they are trying to get approved with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Avanir said the new U.S. patent will provide it with patent protection for low-dose quinidine formulations of Zenvia used to treat PBA.

Quinidine is a component of the drug used to increase the amount of the active ingredient, dextromethorphan, in the body.

The company, which expects a regulatory decision on the new drug application for Zenvia in the second half of next year, said currently there were no U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved treatments for PBA.

For the alerts double-click [ID:nWNAB6911]. (Reporting by Anand Basu in Bangalore, Editing by Himani Sarkar and Pradeep Kurup)

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