November 11, 2010 / 3:12 PM / 9 years ago

Theratechnologies stock jumps on FDA approval

* Shares climb 15 percent to C$5.75

* Egrifta approved for HIV-related lipodystrophy

* Company to now focus on expanding market outside U.S.

TORONTO, Nov 11 (Reuters) - Shares of Theratechnologies (TH.TO) jumped 15 percent on Thursday after the Canadian pharmaceutical company won U.S. regulatory approval of its HIV-related drug.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced late on Wednesday it had approved Egrifta, a drug developed by the Montreal-based company to treat excess abdominal fat in HIV patients.

Theratechnologies’ stock rose 75 Canadian cents to C$5.75 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday shortly after markets opened.

The shares soared 84 percent on May 28 after a U.S. advisory panel unanimously recommend the drug’s approval. The FDA typically follows panel recommendation.

The injectable drug treats lipodystrophy, a condition in which excess fat develops in different areas of the body, most notably around the liver, stomach and other abdominal organs.

The condition is associated with many antiretroviral drugs used to treat HIV, the FDA press release said on Wednesday.

“We’ve all been waiting for this day for many years,” Chief Executive Yves Rosconi said during a conference call with analysts on Thursday.

“Marketing approval for Egrifta was granted as the first and only treatment approved to reduce excess abdominal fat in HIV-infected patients with lipodystrophy,” said Rosconi, who was making his last conference call before retiring from the company.

He did not give a specific date for when Egrifta will begin selling. The drug will be marketed by Merck KGaA’s (MRCG.DE) EMD Serono division in the United States.

Theratechnologies said during the call that its next objective was to focus on commercializing Egrifta in other markets outside the United States.

$1=$1 Canadian Reporting by Solarina Ho; editing by Rob Wilson

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