NeurogesX Shares Rise Following FDA Approval

NEW YORK (AP) ¿ Shares of biotechnology company NeurogesX Inc. jumped Tuesday after the company received Food and Drug Administration approval for its Qutenza pain patch.

The stock rose 51 cents, or 6.2 percent, to $8.75 in afternoon trading. Shares have traded between 89 cents and $9.20 over the last 52 weeks.

The FDA approved Qutenza as a treatment for postherpetic neuralgia, a type of nerve pain condition that results from shingles. The company plans to launch the drug in the U.S. in the first half of 2010. The patch is already approved in Europe for peripheral nerve pain in non-diabetic adults.

Lazard Capital Markets analyst William Tanner reaffirmed a "Buy" rating and $9 price target, saying the approval seemed likely. He forecast sales of $88 million in 2011, which will also likely be the company's first profitable year. U.S. sales could peak over $350 million annually by 2015.

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