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Update on XenoPort's Horizant

Zacks Equity Research

XenoPort, Inc. (XNPT) recently announced that gabapentin enacarbil, which is the active ingredient in Horizant, has been included in an updated treatment algorithm as an initial therapy for patients with chronic persistent restless legs syndrome/Willis-Ekbom disease (RLS/WED). The Wed Foundation's algorithm was published in the current Mayo Clinic Proceedings issue.

Horizant is approved in the U.S. for the treatment of moderate-to-severe primary restless legs syndrome (:RLS) as well as the management of postherpetic neuralgia (:PHN) in adults.

In Jul 2013, Horizant was also included by the Task Force of the International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group in their new treatment guidelines as a first-line treatment for RLS/WED. The guidelines bode well for Horizant.

In May 2013, XenoPort resumed the supply and shipment of Horizant. The company was also successful in resolving manufacturing issues and expects to fill in orders from wholesalers. We note that GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) faced manufacturing delays of Horizant in the U.S., leading 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.

XenoPort carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Currently, companies which look attractive include Actelion Ltd. (ALIOF) and Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ) with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), respectively.

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