Neuropharm mulls voluntary liquidation as it waits for deal

Shares of U.K.'s Neuropharm shot up 33 percent this morning when the developer announced that its board will explore the possibility of a return of cash to shareholders. The company is still hoping to pull off a deal for its lead autism candidate NPL-2008, which it put up for sale in November of last year. "The company is continuing talks with a potentially interested party, which is in the advanced stages of due diligence, but no indicative offer has yet been received from that party," Neuropharm says in a statement.

Neuropharm's shares took a beating early last year after the biotech reported that its late-stage trial for an experimental autism therapy flunked its primary endpoint. But its stock was revived upon rumors that it was getting close to a deal for NPL-2008. In its release, the company notes it has significantly reduced its cash burn and had £6.18 million ($9.2 million) on hand as of Dec. 31, 2009. 

- here's Neuropharm's release
- read this Reuters report for more