Shares of Biovail ( BVF) were rising in premarket trading after it and license partner GlaxoSmithKline ( GSK) got word from the FDA that their Wellbutrin XL antidepressant is en route to approval for a more serious condition.

The companies received an FDA approvable letter seeking a few routine clarifications, and the drug companies expect the treatment to be approved in the second half of 2003. Biovail licensed the pill in 2001 to Glaxo, for whom it manufactures and supplies it.

The companies are seeking clearance to market the drug for severe depressive disorder in patients over 18.

Biovail was recently up $2, or 4.3%, to $48. Glaxo was down 18 cents, or 0.4%, to $41.21.