DUBLIN, April 29 (Reuters) - Elan's (ELN.I) Tysabri drug may be able to reverse damage caused by multiple sclerosis, the Irish drugmaker and its U.S. partner Biogen Idec (BIIB.O) said on Wednesday, boosting Elan's shares 10 percent.
Data released by the companies at the American Academy of Neurology showed Tysabri promoted the regeneration of the protein coat that protects nerve fibres and whose damage causes the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
But sales have been crimped because of its link with progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, or PML, a potentially deadly brain infection.
Elan's shares have lost almost three-quarters of their value over 12 months due to concerns over the safety of Tysabri, disappointing results from a trial of its experimental Alzheimer's vaccine and uncertainty over its future.
Its stock traded 10 percent higher by 0911 GMT at 4.8 euros, outperforming a 3 percent stronger wider Irish market .ISEQ.
Elan said last week it was seeking a partnership with a big pharmaceutical company, after reporting a 14 percent rise in first-quarter revenue and a wider net loss.
Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG (NOVN.VX) and Germany's Merck KGaA (MRCG.DE) are leading the charge to develop multiple sclerosis drugs that can be taken orally, rather than by infusion or injection. (Reporting by Andras Gergely; Editing by David Cowell) ....full report in The Motley Fool