(Reuters) - Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc said its experimental oral drug to treat chronic constipation due to an unknown cause met the main and key secondary goals of a Phase IIb/III study, sending its shares up as much as 19 percent before the bell.
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Synergy said that more patients on its drug plecanatide showed complete emptying of bowels, compared with those on a placebo in a 12-week trial.
The highest tested dose of the drug brought about a 9.7 percent incidence of diarrhea, more than the 1.3 percent by a placebo.
The company said it plans to release full results of the study on 951 patients suffering from chronic idiopathic constipation at a scientific meeting this year.
Chronic idiopathic constipation is the most common digestive complaint in the world and affects about 15 percent of people in the United States, according to Synergy.
Amitiza, an oral drug from Sucampo Pharmaceuticals Inc, is approved in the United States to treat chronic idiopathic constipation. Theravance Inc is also developing an oral drug, velusetrag, to treat the condition.
Synergy's shares were up about 18 percent at $6.23 before the bell on Wednesday. The stock closed at $5.25 on Monday on the Nasdaq.
(Reporting by Zeba Siddiqui in Bangalore; Editing by Roshni Menon)
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