Furiex seeking buyer, Bloomberg reports

Furiex Pharmaceuticals is working with Bank of America to find a buyer for the Morrisville-based drug developer, Bloomberg News reported Wednesday.

Bloomberg, citing people with knowledge of the matter, said now that Furiex’s treatment for irritable bowel syndrome has met initial targets with American and European regulators the company believes there is less risk to potential buyers.

Furiex has begun reaching out to other drugmakers to gauge interest in a deal, Bloomberg reported, citing two people familiar with the matter. A Furiex spokesman declined to comment.

Furiex shares rose nearly 10 percent on Wednesday before trading in the stock was briefly halted. The stock closed Thursday at $97.61, down 89 cents.

Furiex’s stock surged 130 percent in a single day earlier this month after the company reported positive test results for eluxadoline, its irritable bowel syndrome treatment.

The company is on schedule to submit a new drug application with the Food and Drug Administration by the end of the second quarter.

Eluxadoline has been granted fast-track status by the FDA, a designation that accelerates the review process for drugs that have the potential to offer significant improvement in treatment compared with products already on the market.

Furiex has also received milestone payments from two other partnerships. Furiex and Takeda Pharmaceutical are commercializing a trio of diabetes drugs while Furiex and the Menarini Group have entered into a licensing agreement for the premature ejaculation drug Priligy.