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The Associated Press April 13, 2010, 2:18PM ET

Catalyst enters partnership on anti-addiction drug

Catalyst Pharmaceutical Partners Inc. said Tuesday it found a new partner to develop a drug intended to help treat cocaine addiction, and the company's shares surged on the news.

Catalyst said the National Institute on Drug Abuse will cover most of the costs of a new midstage clinical trial of CPP-109, which is also called vigabatrin. The drug intended to help break addiction, but clinical trials involving cocaine and methamphetamine addicts have not been successful.

Catalyst said NIDA will cover $10 million of the trial costs. Catalyst will pay $2.8 million. Catalyst said it will enroll about 200 patients in the study.

In afternoon trading, Catalyst stock rose 22 cents, or 11.6 percent, to $2.11.

According to Catalyst, the last trial of vigabatrin in cocaine addiction failed because not enough patients took the drug. The company said an independent panel agreed there was enough evidence the drug helped patients stay off cocaine. Vigabatrin's effectiveness against methamphetamine was not much different from a placebo, although Catalyst said that result was also encouraging.

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