Cadence Shares Boom as IV Pain Reliever Reaches Goal in Study

Xconomy San Diego — 

San Diego-based Cadence Pharmaceuticals shares shot up about 30 percent this morning after the company announced it had success in a clinical trial with a new version of an old pain reliever.

Cadence (NASDAQ: CADX) says its version of acetaminophen, the pain reliever marketed in tablets by Johnson & Johnson as Tylenol, succeeded in a final-stage clinical trial. Cadence made its drug into an intravenous form to be delivered to patients suffering pain following abdominal surgery, and who can’t take tablets or capsules. The drug reached its goal of reducing the amount of pain patients reported over 24 hours, the company said.

The study, known as ‘304, enrolled 244 patients who were randomly assigned to get a low or high dose of the Cadence product, to be marketed as Acetavance, or a placebo. They got a high dose every six hours, or a low dose every four hours. The company also said it succeeded in two other trials, one designed to assess safety impact on the liver, and another study in children. Cadence says the liver study showed a higher rate of adverse events among patients in the placebo group, and the drug was well-tolerated in all age groups among children. Based on the results, the company plans to ask the FDA for clearance to market the IV acetaminophen before the end of June. This could end up being a big seller, because patients in the hospital who need relief of severe pain often turn to opioid drugs like morphine that have side effects, and addictive properties.

“We are pleased with the successful completion,” of the trials, said Cadence CEO Ted Schroeder, in a statement.

Cadence plans to discuss the results on a conference call with investors at 2 pm Pacific time today. It says it plans to fully communicate the results at a peer-reviewed venue in the future.

Cadence shares climbed 28 percent to $6.42 at Noon Eastern time today.