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AaiPharma Gains on FDA Action

Shares of up-and-down aaiPharma (AAII)went up Friday after the Food and Drug Administration approved its request for a broader application of its methadone product.

In late trading, the Wilmington, N.C.-based company's stock gained 97 cents, or 5.2%, to reach $19.67. The stock had risen as high as $19.90.

Analysts said Friday that although methadone is not a big contributor to aaiPharma's sales, the FDA's action comes several months earlier than had been expected. The company's injectable version of methadone is used to treat moderate to severe pain in patients for whom non-narcotic analgesics are ineffective and to temporarily treat opiate-dependent patients who can't take pills.

The company's stock has been on a mostly downward plunge in recent days due to disappointing financial results, some analysts' concerns about inventories, the faster-than-expected FDA approval of a competitor's generic version of an aaiPharma painkiller, and the departure of the company's chief operating officer for the CEO job at another drug company.

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