(Reuters) - Canadian pharmaceutical company Resverlogix Corp, which is exploring a sale, said it would spin off its RVX Therapeutics Inc unit.
Resverlogix shares touched a more than two-year high of C$3.49 in early trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Shareholders will receive one share in the new company for every share held in Resverlogix, the company said.
The spun-off unit will focus on epigenetics, the study of the mechanisms that activate and de-activate genes.
The company, which has a market capitalization of about C$242 million ($237.20 million), said it will continue the clinical development of RVX-208, an experimental drug for treating hardening of the arteries. The drug accounts for the entire market value of Resverlogix.
The drug met the main goal of a mid-stage trial of significantly increasing HDL-C (HDL), or "good" cholesterol levels, in August.
Calgary, Alberta-based Resverlogix said the new company's shares will not be listed initially.
(Reporting by Krithika Krishnamurthy in Bangalore)