Spain’s Faes Farma has called for calm from its shareholders as the stock continues to slip back amid worries about the prospects for its investigational oral allergy drug bilastine.

In a statement to the Spanish Securities and Exchange Commission (CNMV), the Bilbao-headquartered company said that “numerous” stockholders have contacted the firm about whether a licensing deal for the new compound is imminent. Bilastine is a selective antihistamine receptor antagonist which has successfully completed Phase III trials for the prevention of allergic rhinitis and is expected to be launched in Europe in 2008.

Faes said in April that it was close to signing an agreement with an unnamed “multinational pharmaceutical company” to market what many analysts believe is a potential blockbuster but no name has been forthcoming and investors are getting edgy. However in the CNMV statement, the firm says that “the absence of news does not, in itself, mean bad news”.

The company said that it is continuing to negotiate with a number of companies to do licensing deals for bilastine that would cover over 70 countries but they have to be done “without hurrying and in silence and without outside pressures”. Such dealings are “logically very complicated” and although there is no “concrete news”, Faes now has fresh expectations that a deal which will benefit the firm and its shareholders is around the corner but months could pass before an announcement is made.

Earlier this month, Faes said it is unsure whether the US partner for bilastine, Inspire Pharmaceuticals, intends to continue their pact once their existing agreement runs out at the end of the year.