(Adds details, updates shares)
March 15 Catalyst Pharmaceuticals Inc
said on Wednesday its experimental drug to treat patients with a
severe form of myasthenia gravis (MG), a rare neuromuscular
disease, met the main goals of a study.
The drug, Firdapse, was being tested on seven patients with
Musk-MG, a rare subpopulation of MG patients. There are
currently no therapies for this form of MG approved by the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
While several treatment options are available for MG,
Musk-MG patients are typically resistant to them. Patients often
face a lifetime of severe complications including difficulty
walking, talking, swallowing and breathing normally.
Catalyst said it intends to discuss a plan with the FDA to
take Firdapse into a pivotal study.
The drug, if approved, is likely to become the first-line
standard of care for Musk-MG, the company said.
Firdapse is also being tested for Lambert-Eaton myasthenic
syndrome, a rare and sometimes fatal autoimmune disease
characterized by muscle weakness.
Catalyst's shares jumped 17 percent to $1.37 before the bell
(Reporting by Divya Grover in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio
D'Souza and Sai Sachin Ravikumar)