Citigroup Ups Pain Therapeutics to Hold

Says recent setbacks in the development of a new painkiller don't change expectations of its eventual launch in 2008

Citigroup upgraded Pain Therapeutics (PTIE ) to hold from sell, after news that the drug maker's painkiller Oxytrex failed to in a trial.

While citing these "clouded results," analyst Andrew Swanson says that management has affirmed its plan to continue developing the drug, with a new trial expected to begin in 2006. He says he's always assumed a third trial would be required for approval of the drug; as such, he keeps his forecasts on the company's earnings, which assume a second quarter 2008 launch for Oxytrex.

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