Promising pain data fuels spike in XenoPort shares

Shares of XenoPort barreled ahead 29 percent on Thursday after researchers reported that its neuropathic pain drug--which is partnered with GlaxoSmithKline--hit its primary endpoint of reducing the intensity of pain in a Phase IIb trial.

The therapy--XP13512 or GSK1838262--significantly reduced the level of pain compared to a placebo for patients with post-herpetic neuralgia. The 376 subjects were randomized to receive placebo, 1200, 2400 or 3600 mg per day over a 14-week period. Post-herpetic neuralgia is a neuropathic pain syndrome that primarily affects people over fifty and can lead to disability. PHN follows an outbreak of shingles, and about a million people in the U.S. develop shingles each year. Of these, nearly 15 percent develop PHN.

"We are pleased with the efficacy and tolerability results observed across all doses in this study," said XenoPort CEO Ronald W. Barrett. "These results build upon the positive Phase IIa study in PHN patients we previously conducted with this product candidate. We look forward to continuing to work with GSK to advance the development of this compound in neuropathic pain."

- check out the Xenoport release
- read the Reuters story