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Sucampo gets approval for glaucoma drug Rescula

BETHESDA, Md. (AP) -- Sucampo Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Wednesday that it received new approval for its glaucoma treatment Rescula, allowing Sucampo to sell the drug as a primary treatment for the disease.

Sucampo said the Food and Drug Administration approved Rescula as a primary treatment for glaucoma and in combination with other drugs intended to reduce pressure inside the eye. Rescula is approved to treat the most common type of glaucoma. The company plans to start marketing the drug in the first quarter of 2013.

Shares of Sucampo advanced 32 cents, or 6.4 percent, to $5.29 in morning trading. Earlier the shares were up more than 10 percent.

The FDA approved Rescula in 2000 for use in patients who were not helped by other glaucoma drugs or who couldn't take those medications. Sucampo acquired the U.S. rights to the drug in April 2009 but has not been selling it. The company's only marketed product is the constipation treatment Amitiza.