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Ahead of the Bell: Acadia Pharma shares climb


Shares of Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc. climbed in premarket trading Friday after the company said data from a late-stage study that highlights the effectiveness of its lead drug treatment candidate, pimavanserin, has been published in the journal Lancet.

The San Diego company is developing pimavanserin as a potential treatment for psychosis associated with Parkinson's disease. Acadia said the study showed that pimavanserin significantly reduced psychosis and maintained motor control.

A total of 199 patients were enrolled in the study. They received either a 40-milligram dose of pimavanserin or a placebo once a day for six weeks, along with their existing treatments for the disease.

Acadia shares also jumped in April after the drug developer said it will not have to run a second late-stage study of pimavanserin. The company said it was canceling the study after the Food and Drug Administration agreed that results from previous research and other clinical data were enough to support a filing for marketing approval.

Late-stage trials are the final and most expensive stage of research before a company seeks approval. Analysts have said the FDA decision means the drug could hit the market, if approved, by 2015, a year earlier than expected.

Acadia does not have any approved products. Pimavanserin is its most advanced experimental drug.

Company shares climbed 6.5 percent, or $1.47, to $24.19 in premarket trading about 2 ½ hours before the market opening. The stock has soared almost five-fold since closing 2012 at $4.65.


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