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Pipeline updates are highly awaited events in the pharma/biotech sector as they play an important role in deciding whether or not to invest in a particular company. These updates provide information on experimental drugs and at times give an insight into the commercial potential of the candidate once it is successfully developed and commercialized.

Earlier this week, Aratana Therapeutics, Inc. (PETX - Snapshot Report) provided an update on its pipeline. The company stated in its press release that it has progressed well with its candidates during 2013, achieving previously stated milestones.

In Nov 2013, Aratana announced positive top-line results from its pivotal dose-ranging study on AT-001. The candidate is being developed for the treatment of pain in dogs suffering from osteoarthritis. Results revealed that significant improvement in pain assessment scores were observed in dogs receiving AT-001 compared to those on placebo.

Aratana now plans to advance AT-001 into a pivotal field effectiveness study in 2014. Positive results from the pivotal field effectiveness study will allow the company to seek approval of the candidate. Aratana intends to commercialize AT-001 in 2016.

The company further stated that it initiated a pivotal field effectiveness study on AT-002, another important candidate at Aratana. AT-002 is being developed for the treatment of dogs suffering from inappetence. Aratana intends to start enrolling dogs for the study in Jan 2014. An anticipated 150 client-owned dogs are expected to be enrolled for the study. Top-line results from the study are expected in the first half of 2015 with approval expected in 2016.

Moreover, Aratana intends to initiate a pilot field study on AT-003 in client-owned dogs in 2014. The candidate will be studied for assessing pain management following orthopedic surgery in client-owned dogs.

We are encouraged by the company’s progress with its pipeline so far. We expect investor focus to remain on Aratana’s pipeline going forward.

Aratana, a biopharmaceutical company focusing exclusively on pets, currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the biopharmaceutical sector include Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ - Analyst Report), Santarus, Inc. and Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. . All the stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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