Amarin Shoots Up 90% on Heart Pill Study

In stark contrast to the wave of selling slamming Wall Street, shares of Amarin (NASDAQ:AMRN) rocketed more than 90% on Monday on enthusiasm for a surprisingly strong study of its heart pill.

The Mystic, Conn.-based biopharmaceutical company said a Phase III trial of its AMR101 treatment revealed “statistically significant” reductions in triglycerides, which contributes to heart disease.

Amarin said the trial showed the drug was able to reduce triglyceride at even stronger levels than it expected. LCL-C, or “bad cholesterol,” was also reduced, surpassing the goal of LCL-C neutrality.

It’s clear the potential is great for this new treatment as Amarin said approximately 40 million people in the U.S. alone have triglyceride levels above 200 milligrams per deciliter of blood, or what is known as borderline-high cholesterol.

"We are delighted by the results of the ANCHOR trial,” Amarin CEO Joseph Zakrzewski said in a statement. “We believe these results clearly differentiate AMR101 from other triglyceride lowering therapies and position AMR101 to be both first-in-class and best overall therapy for treating the high triglyceride population.”

Shareholders also cheered the results, bidding Amarin’s stock up 93.84% to $17.01 Monday afternoon. That rally leaves the stock up just 6.9% in 2011, but with a 406% gain from a year ago. It also gives Amarin a market cap north of $1 billion.

More details about the results from this key test are expected at an upcoming scientific meeting, Amarin said.