GSK1838262 -- also called XP13512 and gabapentin enacarbil, but for the sake of my typing fingers, let's just call it "the drug" -- is a modified version of Pfizer's
If approved, it'll compete with Pfizer's Lyrica and Endo Pharmaceuticals'
The drug, however, has more uses than just pain after shingles. It's up for review as a treatment for restless leg syndrome, and there's potential for it to be used as a treatment for a related nerve pain that some diabetics get -- and that market is larger than the shingles-pain market.
Investors welcomed the 25% boost in XenoPort's shares yesterday, especially after a drug candidate crashed and burned near the end of last year and pulled the company's share price down with it. Right now, XenoPort's near-term future is in the hands of the Food and Drug Administration, which may decide whether the drug gets approved to treat restless leg syndrome by Nov. 9.
Until then, investors are likely to be a little restless -- but they can smile for now.
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