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Icagen stock jumps on asthma drug

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Shares of Icagen jumped today after the Durham drug-development company reported positive test results for an experimental asthma treatment.

The drug, known as Senicapoc, improved breathing in patients who experience asthma because of allergies. The test was conducted on 34 patients in the United Kingdom.

The treatment still requires additional tests in patients and is a long way from winning regulatory approval. But positive news cheered Icagen investors.

Shares rose 47 cents to close at $1.43. It's the first time the stock has traded above $1 since last fall. More than 3 million shares traded, nearly 25 times the average daily volume.

The stock first went public in Feb. 2005 at $8.

Icagen has run into problems with some of its other medicines, including an experimental treatment for epilepsy. But the company's researchers are continuing work on several treatments and officials have said they hope to attract interest from larger pharmaceutical companies.

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About the blogger

Assistant Business Editor Alan M. Wolf joined the N&O in 1999 covering the business of health care. He became an editor in 2001, and helps oversee the paper's daily business coverage and Sunday Work&Money section. He lives in Clayton with his wife and two children. Reach him at 919-829-4572 or e-mail him.