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REFILE-Drugmaker Furiex puts itself up for sale - Bloomberg

Feb 19 (Reuters) - Furiex Pharmaceuticals Inc, which is developing a drug for irritable bowel syndrome, has put itself up for sale, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

The company was working with Bank of America Corp and has started contacting companies to gauge their interest in a potential deal, according to the report. ()

Furiex's stock climbed as much as 17 percent to $113.99 on Wednesday, valuing the company at $1.18 billion.

The company's stock more than doubled on Feb. 4 when Furiex said its drug, eluxadoline, significantly alleviated diarrhea and abdominal pain associated with irritable bowel syndrome in two large late-stage trials.

This was the second time the company was trying to sell itself following an unsuccessful auction last year, Bloomberg said on Wednesday citing two of the people familiar with the matter.

Furiex declined to comment on the report.

The company has said it plans to apply for U.S. approval by mid-2014 for use in diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome, a debilitating bowel disorder that affects about 28 million people in the United States and major European markets.

The stock was up 4.4 percent at $101.67 in afternoon trading on the Nasdaq.

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