Nitromed Soars on Trial

Nitromed ( NTMD) more than doubled Monday after the company halted a phase III trial of a heart-failure treatment and distributed the drug to everyone in the study because of its early success rate.

The study encompassed more than 1,000 African Americans at 170 sites receiving Nitromed's BiDil, an orally administered, nitric-oxide enhancing medicine, along with existing therapies such as beta blockers and aldosterone inhibitors.

"Based on the size and consistency of the survival benefit, the committee believed it would be unethical for physicians to continue to withhold BiDil from patients taking a placebo in the study," Nitromed said in a release. The company plans to work with the FDA to conclude data analysis and amend its previously submitted new drug application. The company expects to have commercial resources in place to support a product launch by early 2005.

The stock was recently up $6.91, or 117%, to $12.81 on about 6.6 million shares traded. The stock usually does about 43,500 shares of volume a day.

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