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Anika Arthritis Treatment Approval Brings All-Time Highs, Maybe More to Come

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Shares of biotechnology company Anika Therapeutics Inc. (ANIK) soared to an all-time high Wednesday after the company said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved its drug to treat pain and improve joint mobility in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee.

The company said the drug, called Monovisc, will be marketed by DePuy Synthes, a unit of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ). Anika will receive a $5 million payment when DePuy Synthes makes its first sale of the drug. It will receive additional payments and royalty fees in the future as well.

Monovisc treats pain and improves joint mobility. It is injected into the synovial fluid of a patient's knee. It has been available since 2008 in Europe, Canada, the United Kingdom and other countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

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The shares were up $15.84, or 46%, to $50.31, after hitting an intraday peak of $51.95 right after the open. Formed in 1992, Anika has been growing steadily in recent years, with sales hitting $71 million in 2012, up from $40 million in 2009.

Fourth-quarter results for 2013 are due after Wednesday's close, with analysts expecting $0.42 a share in earnings, unchanged from a year ago, on revenue of $21.1 million, down slightly.

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