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Israel's Therapix gets positive Tourette's drug trial results

JERUSALEM, April 9 (Reuters) - Israel's Therapix Biosciences announced positive results on Monday from a Phase IIa trial of its cannabinoid-based drug to treat Tourette syndrome (TS), sending its stock price jumping.

The clinical-stage pharmaceutical company said in a statement its drug candidate THX-110 "significantly improved symptoms over time" in adults with Tourette's, which is characterized by involuntary movements and tics.

"These results are of particular interest as the pharmacology of THX-110 appears to be distinct from existing medications for TS and may offer a unique option for treating these patients," Chief Technology Officer Adi Zuloff-Shani said.

Current available treatments are frequently inadequate or unsafe, she added.

Shares in Therapix were up 26 percent at $6.55 in pre-trading on Nasdaq.

The company is waiting for regulatory approval to begin a broader study, expanded to 40 subjects from 16, CEO Ascher Shmulewitz said.

The company has estimated the market opportunity in Tourette's to be about $1.5 billion in the United States.

The same medicine is also being tested as a treatment for sleep apnea and pain management, Shmulewitz said. (Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Mark Potter)