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() shares soared double digits following the announcement that it will begin its Phase 2b trial for Cytisinicline, its smoking cessation drug.

Known as its Ongoing Research of Cytisinicline for Addiction Program, or ORCA, the trial will evaluate the effectiveness of the drug on smoking cessation.

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Shares of the Washington State-based biotech jumped more than 20% to $2.52 in trading.

The randomized study will look at 1.5mg and 3mg  doses of cytisinicline over 25 days, as well as three times daily dosing.

The plant-based compound, also known as cytisine, interacts with the brain’s nicotine receptors to reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms.

The effectiveness of the trial will be determined by the reduction in the number of cigarettes smoked during treatment.

A total of 250 smokers will participate in a study being conducted across eight US centers.

“We intend to utilize our learnings from this trial to finalize the Phase 3 program, expected to begin later next year,”  said CEO Rick Stewart in the company’s press release.

The data results are expected to be made available in mid-2019.

The company also announced that the United States Adopted Names Council adopted “cytisinicline” as the generic name for cytisine.


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