Cytos close to partnering lead candidate

Cytos Biotechnology (CYTN) says it expects to close a partnering deal for its allergy drug program in 2010. The Swiss company revealed in July positive mid-stage results for CYT003-QbG10, an experimental drug for patients with allergic rhinoconjunctivitis. And now CEO Wolfgang Renner tells Dow Jones Newswires, "Several parties are looking at the data. One large company is especially interested and we're in talks now."

Analysts have already begun speculating as to potential partners. Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca are considered to be among the interested parties, though the companies have yet to offer comment. Talk of a partnering deal over the last few days has sent the company's shares up 10 percent, the Wall Street Journal reports.

This is a much-needed boost for Cytos, which has seen its share price fall 58 percent over the last year. The developer was forced to cut 42 percent of its workforce back in March after another program failed a mid-stage trial for blood pressure.

- more from WSJ