Shares in Salix Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SLXP) rose nearly 2 percent, or 68 cents, Wednesday after the company announced extended patent coverage on its travelers’ diarrhea drug Xifaxan.

The Raleigh-based company expects Xifaxan sales to top $300 million this year.

Before the markets opened, Salix said it had received one patent and coverage from two other patents that it holds rights to through a licensing deal.

One patent covers methods of treating travelers’ diarrhea as developed by Salix and should provide protection through July 24, 2029, the company said.

The other patents cover composition and a form of the drug rifaximin, which Salix markets as Xifaxan. They could provide coverage through 2024 and 2025 respectively. Salix licensed the drug from Alfa Wassermann for sale in North America.

Salix traded $37.71 in early afternoon trading.

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