Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR ) shares surged almost 43% to US$22.13 in New York as it posted positive findings of a Phase 3 efficacy study of NKTR-181 - its opioid analgesic for treating pain.
The candidate is designed to manage pain without high levels of euphoria that can lead to addiction with standard opioids, and it met its primary and secondary endpoints.
NKTR-181 also demonstrated a favorable safety profile, Nektar said.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have granted the investigational medicine "fast track" designation for the treatment of moderate to severe chronic pain.
"The data from this efficacy study are extremely important because they demonstrate that NKTR-181 produces strong analgesia in patients suffering from chronic pain while NKTR-181 has also demonstrated significantly lower abuse potential than oxycodone in a human abuse potential study," said Martin Hale, the clinical investigator of the study and medical director at Gold Coast Research
He added: "The data for NKTR-181 suggest that it is a transformational pain medicine that could fundamentally change how we treat patients with chronic pain conditions."