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Neurocrine surges on drug study results

Neurocrine Biosciences (Nasdaq: NBIX) said Monday that one of its experimental drugs helped reduce the symptoms of tardive dyskinesia, an illness that causes involuntary movements and spasms, in a mid-stage clinical trial.

The company's shares surged $5.79, or 59 percent, to $15.55 in aftermarket trading.

Neurocrine said its drug, NBI-98854, worked better than a placebo in the six-week study.

Physicians who treated the patients rated the patients' symptoms, and they said 67 percent of patients were “much improved” or “very much improved” after six weeks, compared to 16 percent of patients in the placebo group.

The San Diego company wants to have a meeting with the Food and Drug Administration about design of a late-stage study. It wants to file a proposed study in the first half of the year.

Neurocrine Biosciences Inc. has no products on the market. Its most advanced drug candidate is elagolix, a treatment for endometriosis, or excessive growth of the uterine lining, and for uterine fibroids, or benign growths in the uterus. AbbVie Inc. is conducting late-stage studies of the drug.

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