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Tuesday 16th of June 2009
April 13, 2005

Elan hope returns to Tysabri


by Brian Turner
Elan hope returns to Tysabri

Shares in Elan, an Irish drug group, rose 21 percent by early afternoon Wednesday on hopes that its drug Tysabri may be able to go back on the market after its suspension six weeks ago.

The suspension of the multiple sclerosis drug’s sales came after two patients on the drug contracted a rare condition affecting the central nervous system.

One patient died from the condition, and a third patient was identified as having the same condition in March.

Elan’s shares lost 86 percent of their value in the wake of the drug’s withdrawal.

However, data from a recent clinical trial showed that Tysabri had reduced the risk of disability progress by 42 percent and the rate of relapse by 67 percent in 942 patients in the trials.

Some analysts remain doubtful that the drug can return to the market, at least in the short term, after three occurrences of a potentially fatal side effect and the death of one of the patients.

Still, Elan and its partner in developing the drug, the U.S. company Biogen, said the trial results would be discussed with regulatory agencies with an eye to a possible return to the market.

Shares in Biogen also rose by 1 percent in after hours trading on Tuesday based on the hopeful news about Tysabri.

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