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Hospira gets positive Europe opinion on Inflectra

NEW YORK (AP) -- Drug and medical device maker Hospira said Friday that it has received a positive opinion from a European drug regulator for a drug that can be used to help treat rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and plaque psoriasis.

Its shares climbed to the highest point in more than a year.

Hospira Inc. said the positive opinion came from the European Medicines Agency Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use, which is recommending that the European Commission approve Inflectra.

The European Commission reviews the recommendations of the committee. The commission typically gives a final decision on approval within three months of the committee issuing its opinion. The final decision will apply to all European Union and European Economic Area countries.

Stan Bukofzer, corporate vice president and chief medical officer for Hospira, said that the positive opinion moves it closer to getting approval for Inflectra for use in Europe.

Inflectra targets a specific protein in the body that contributes to the painful inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and plaque psoriasis.

Shares of Hospira, based in Lake Forest, Ill., rose $2.23, or 6.2 percent, to $38.38 in afternoon trading. The stock touched $38.50 earlier in the session, its highest level since October 2011.