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What: Shares of XenoPort (NASDAQ: XNPT ) , a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing neurological disorder therapies, added as much as 19% today following the release of early stage results for XP23829 for the treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.
So what: XP23829, a prodrug of monomethyl fumarate (MMF), was tested over two studies in five separate cohorts with a sixth group of healthy subjects receiving Biogen Idec's (NASDAQ: BIIB ) Tecfidera as the control group. The study demonstrated that Tecfidera, a dimethyl fumarate compound that breaks down to MMF in the body, and XP23829 for the 400mg dose, enzymatically converted to about the same amount of MMF in the body when dosed without food. XP23829 was also well-tolerated in the studies. XenoPort noted enough positive evidence from these early stage results to move XP23829 into mid-stage studies.
Now what: The allure of MMF-based MS treatments is that they could become a less-frequently taken and longer-term solution than DMF-based drugs like Biogen's Tecfidera. Ultimately, though, we're only talking about an early-stage trial here. XenoPort still has to establish the proper dosing then outline the next step of its study to the Food and Drug Administration. If this were a baseball game, XenoPort scored a run with a double in the bottom of the second inning, but still has seven innings left to go. I'd be excited as well if I was a XenoPort shareholder, but the reality is that XP23829 becoming a game-changer is at least a few years off at best.
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