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Cardiome Jumps on Drug Progress

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Cardiome Pharma (CRME) leapt in afterhours action on Wednesday after the Canadian drug developer and partner Merck (MRK) received a marketing approval related to an intravenous formulation of their Brinavess brand vernakalant cardiovascular drug in the European Union, Iceland and Norway.

The stock gained 13.1% to $7 on volume of 124,325 in extending trading, according to Nasdaq.com. That advance followed a rise of 2.3% to $6.19 in the regular session.

Year-to-date, Cardiome shares are up nearly 36%, but they've been clipped of late, falling 34% since hitting a 52-week high of $9.36 on August 5.

In a joint statement, Cardiome and Merck said the Brinavess approval was for an IV formulation of the drug to be marketed for "the rapid conversion of recent onset atrial fibrillation to sinus rhythm in adults: for non-surgery patients with AF of seven days or less and for post-cardiac surgery patients with AF of three days or less."

A Merck executive said in the press release that the company expects to launch Brinavess in the European Union in the fourth quarter.

Doug Janzen, Cardiome's president and CEO, said the launch of Brinavess would provide the company with its first commercial product revenues. Merck and Cardiome formed their collaboration in April 2009.

Cardiome reported its second-quarter results on August 11, posting net income of $4.6 million, or 8 cents a share, mainly because of payments related to its collaboration with Merck. Also at that time, Cardiome backed off expectations that the next phase of its clinical program for an oral version of vernakalant would begin this summer, citing discussions with Merck.

--Written by Michael Baron in New York.



>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Michael Baron.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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