Synergy Pharmaceuticals Surges as Investors Await Drug Data

Apr 24, 2014 4:23 pm ET

(Updates with closing share price in second paragraph.)

April 24 (Bloomberg) -- Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc., a developer of drugs for gastrointestinal disorders, increased the most in a year on investor optimism that its experimental treatment for irritable bowel syndrome may have helped patients in a study.

Synergy gained 11 percent to $4.89 at the close in New York. The shares of the New York-based company increased 3.3 percent in the past 12 months.

Data from a mid-stage trial of the drug known as plecanatide may be released by the end of this month, according to Irina Rivkind, an analyst with Cantor Fitzgerald LP in New York. The medicine, if approved, is expected to compete with Ironwood Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s Linzess that is “projected to be a blockbuster drug,” Rivkind said in an e-mail. Both medicines help irritable bowel syndrome patients with constipation and chronic idiopathic constipation.

“Plecanatide is the key asset for Synergy,” Rivkind said. Depending on the results “we think Synergy could be acquired by a larger company,” she said.

The company didn’t immediately return a telephone call seeking comment on the share movement.