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Alkermes rises on depression drug study results

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Alkermes PLC climbed Wednesday after the company said an experimental depression treatment met its main goal in a mid-stage clinical study.

Alkermes said its drug regimen ALKS 5461 reduced the symptoms of depression in the trial. That reading was based on clinical scales that evaluate depression symptoms. In the trial, 142 patients took one of two strengths of ALKS 5461 or a placebo once a day for four weeks. Patients in the trial had tried at least one other antidepressant but hadn't been helped by that treatment.

The Irish drugmaker said it is planning further studies of ALKS 5461.

Alkermes shares rose $3.66, or 14.3 percent, $29.26 in midday trading. Earlier in the day the stock reached an all-time high of $29.75.

ALKS 5461 combines an experimental Alkermes drug with buprenorphine, a drug that is sold under the name Subutex as a treatment for addiction to opiates like heroin. Alkermes said it will report more data from the study at a medical conference in late May.