RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Shares in drug development firm Icagen (Nasdaq: ICGN) surged more than 20 percent Monday after the company reported that the Food and Drug Administration had lifted a hold on its development of an epilepsy drug.

can now begin a Phase II clinical trial in patients with epilepsy. It expects to have results from the test by the middle of 2010.

The news sent Icagen shares up 18 cents to 81 cents in late-morning trading.

The Epilepsy Study Commission helped design the study for the trial.

Icagen, which reports its latest quarterly tests on Tuesday, reported a loss of $3.6 million in the first quarter.