Shares of Neurocrine Biosciences Inc. surged in premarket trading Tuesday morning, a day after the drug developer surprised some analysts with positive results from a mid-stage study of one of its experimental drugs. The San Diego company had said Monday that a potential treatment labeled NBI-98854 fared much better than a placebo, or fake drug, in reducing the symptoms of tardive dyskinesia, an illness that causes involuntary movements and spasms. Physicians who rated patient symptoms said 67 percent were "much improved" or "very much improved" after six weeks of taking the drug, compared to 16 percent of patients in the placebo group. Neurocrine, which has no products on the market, wants to meet with the Food and Drug Administration about the design of a late-stage study. It wants to file a proposed study in the first half of the year. Roth Capital Partners analyst Robert Hazlett said results from the study were "unequivocally positive using multiple measures." He raised his price target on the stock to $22 from $16 . Jefferies analyst Thomas Wei raised his price target to $23 from $16 . He said in a separate note the results mean the company can start late-stage testing sooner than expected. That's the last phase of clinical research before a drugmaker seeks approval from regulators. Wei said the drug could be approved by 2017. Company shares climbed in after-hours trading Monday and were up 62 percent, or $6.05 , to $15.81 in premarket trading Tuesday about two hours before the market opening. .
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