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Heron Therapeutics (HRTX) - Get Heron Therapeutics Inc Report  shares rose 6.2% Wednesday after the biotech company reported positive results of a pain-management study of patients who underwent knee-replacement surgery.

The San Diego company said the study included 51 total-knee-arthroplasty patients. They received its HTX-011 investigational agent together with a scheduled postoperative regimen of generic oral analgesics -- acetaminophen and celecoxib -- to reduce pain. 

The Phase IIIb study results showed that mean pain scores "remained in the mild range" for 72 hours after surgery and that median consumption of opioids was 4 to 5 oxycodone pills (22.5mg morphine equivalents) over that time frame.

Three-quarters of the patients in the study were discharged from the hospital without a prescription for opioids.

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"HTX-011, together with the multimodal, oral analgesic regimen, was well tolerated in this study," the company said in a release. "There were no deaths, serious adverse events or premature discontinuations due to adverse events." 

The results demonstrate that non-opioid pain medications like HTX-011 "can substantially improve patient care, change current prescribing practices and help to stem the overreliance on opioids after major orthopedic surgery," Paul Lachiewicz, a surgeon and consulting professor at Duke University's Department of Orthopedic Surgery, said in the company statement.