May 14 (Bloomberg) -- UCB SA climbed the most in six months in Brussels trading after the drugmaker won U.S. approval to sell its Cimzia medicine for rheumatoid arthritis.
UCB, based in the Belgian capital, rose 3.02 euros, or 16 percent, to 22.40 euros, marking the steepest gain since Nov. 3.
The Food and Drug Administration cleared Cimzia for adults with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, UCB said today in a statement. The medicine, taken as a shot, was approved in the U.S. for Crohn’s disease in April 2008. The drugmaker needs Cimzia to help replace revenue because its top seller Keppra for epilepsy lost patent protection in the U.S. in November and faces generic competition in Europe.
“Cimzia’s U.S. approval for rheumatoid arthritis is well ahead of ours and the street’s expectation,” said KBC Securities analyst Jan De Kerpel, who hadn’t expected the go- ahead until the end of 2009. The analyst raised UCB’s shares to “accumulate” from “hold” in a note to clients. “The company will be able to book substantially more top-line contribution compared to what we had foreseen earlier.”