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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.

With the commencement of 2014, several companies have been providing an update on their pipelines candidates and their future developmental plans. Earlier this week, XenoPort, Inc. (XNPT - Snapshot Report) provided an update on its pipeline including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) feedback on XP23289 and its commercialization plans for Horizant.

XP23289 is being developed for the treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). XenoPort received a feedback from the FDA on XP23289. The FDA said that XenoPort should explore different doses of XP23829 to evaluate the potential advantages of doses that produced either higher or lower monomethyl fumarate (MMF) exposure. XenoPort intends to continue discussions with the agency regarding the regulatory pathway for the candidate.

Meanwhile, XenoPort will also file an Investigational New Drug (IND) application for XP23829 for the treatment of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis. A phase II study for this indication could commence by mid 2014.

As far as the performance of Horizant is concerned, since XenoPort started promoting the drug (Jun 2013), the company said that it expects the Horizant to break-even and turn profitable by the end of 2015.

With Horizant being a lead product in XenoPort’s portfolio, results from the post-marketing study on the drug will be game changing for the company. We expect investor focus to remain on Horizant updates.

XenoPort carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better ranked stocks in the same sector include Actelion Ltd. (ALIOF), Coronado Biosciences, Inc. (CNDO - Snapshot Report) and Acceleron Pharma, Inc. (XLRN - Snapshot Report). While Actelion and Coronado Biosciences are Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks, Acceleron is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock.

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