shares jumped after it announced Food and Drug Administration approval of its first-line treatment of asthma Thursday morning.
Shares were up 17 cents, or 0.9%, to $18.19.
In a 400-person, 12-week clinical trial, once-daily use of the drug Asmanex improved lung function and reduced dependence on rescue medications such as inhalers, compared with a placebo. The drug was approved as a preventive therapy for patients 12 years and older, who have not taken asthma medications before.
Asmanex is already used as an asthma treatment for patients who have already tried other drugs. Asmanex is the only once-daily asthma management drug approved for those who use only rescue inhalers or corticosteroids, which prevent the swelling that causes asthma symptoms.
On Monday, Schering-Plough announced its aim to triple sales in Japan by 2010, with the help of Asmanex; cholesterol drug Zetia, its main driver of growth; and others.