Salix shares surge on Xifaxan approval

Shares of Raleigh, NC-based Salix Pharmaceuticals got a nice bounce after the FDA approved its drug Xifaxan for recurrent hepatic encephalopathy, a disease that can trigger memory loss, confusion and even coma.

"Salix proved it has the credibility to execute an on-time Food and Drug Administration approval with yesterday's new indication for hepatic encephalopathy," Jefferies & Co analyst Corey Davis. The drug is already approved for traveler's diarrhea and the developer is planning to seek an approval for non-constipation irritable bowel syndrome as well.

"An episode of overt HE can result in a patient losing cognitive function or even death," said Bill Forbes, Salix's executive vice president of R&D. "These symptoms, in a number of incidences, necessitate a clinic or emergency room visit or hospital admission." Its stock jumped 9 percent in pre-market trading.

- check out Salix's release
- here's the Reuters story