U.S. Markets closed

Elan continues separation of drug discovery unit

NEW YORK (AP) -- Irish drugmaker Elan Corp. PLC said Friday that it expects its former drug discovery business to become a separate publicly traded company on Dec. 21.

Elan announced the planned separation in August. The business will be called Prothena Corp., and it is developing treatments for chronic degenerative diseases and other disease-related areas. Elan shareholders will get one share of the new company for every 41 shares of Elan they own.

The company said it has applied to list Prothena on the Nasdaq Global Market under the ticker symbol "PRTA." Elan expects shares to begin trading on a when-issued basis on Dec. 18, and in standard fashion on Dec. 21. Elan said there will be about 17.7 million shares of Prothena on the market after the separation is complete.

Elan Corp. will maintain the multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri and drug candidate ELND005, which is being developed for potential use in neuropsychiatry and other symptomatic conditions.

Shares of Elan rose 19 cents to close at $10.06.