XenoPort Inc. (XNPT) recently commenced shipments of Horizant extended-release tablets in the US. The drug is approved in the US for the treatment of moderate-to-severe primary restless legs syndrome (RLS) as well as for the management of postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) in adults.
XenoPort mentioned in its press release that the company has been successful in resolving the manufacturing issues and expects to file orders for wholesalers soon. The company expects Horizant to be available to patients by the first week of June this year. We note that GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) was facing manufacturing delays regarding Horizant in the US which led to product shortage.
We remind investors that Glaxo and XenoPort had a collaboration agreement for Horizant that was terminated in Nov 2012. Glaxo had commercialization rights to the drug through the transition period, which ended on Apr 30, 2013. On May 1, 2013, XenoPort re-acquired all commercialization rights to Horizant. Glaxo, however, is expected to supply Horizant to XenoPort until Oct 30, 2013.
We are encouraged by the news and believe that this will be a huge relief for the company. Horizant’s manufacturing delays have been a concern for XenoPort over the last few months. Moreover, because of the stock-out, no sales of Horizant were recorded since March this year. As per Glaxo, Horizant’s first quarter sales were $1.2 million.
XenoPort, a biopharmaceutical company, carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Meanwhile, other biopharma stocks like Santarus, Inc. (SNTS) and Jazz Pharmaceuticals Public Limited Company (JAZZ) currently look better positioned carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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