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Basilea Climbs as Antifungal Advances in Testing: Zurich Mover

Basilea Pharmaceutica AG rose to the highest price in more than a month after the Swiss drug developer said an antifungal treatment could get approval for sale by 2015.

Basilea shares gained as much as 4.9 percent to 78 Swiss francs, the highest intraday price since Aug. 21, and were up 4.6 percent at 10:22 a.m. in Zurich. The stock has gained almost 90 percent this year, including reinvested dividends, compared with the Swiss Performance Index’s 21 percent advance.

A final-stage clinical study showed that the isavuconazole treatment wasn’t inferior to an existing medicine, the Basel-based company said in a statement today. The company may file for regulatory approval in early 2014 and the treatment could reach the market in late 2014 or 2015, Chief Executive Officer Ronald Scott said on a conference call with reporters.

“The data will prompt investors to increase the likelihood of approval for isavuconazole and estimates for Basilea substantially,” David Kaegi, an analyst at J. Safra Sarasin, said in a note to investors.

Isavuconazole’s peak sales could reach 600 million francs ($662 million), and the probability of success is 50 percent, wrote Andrew Weiss, an analyst at Bank Vontobel. Basilea is developing the drug with Astellas Pharma Inc.

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