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Glaxo, Xenoport's Drug Approved to Treat Shingles Pain


Xenoport's stock is dropping after a big rise this year. The drug Horizant,OK'd last year for restless legs syndrome, is at the center of a legal dispute between the companies.

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and biotech company Xenoport (XNPT) won US approval to sell the drug Horizant to patients who have nerve pain caused by shingles. The added use should bolster sales of the drug, which was approved last year to treat a condition known as restless legs syndrome.

Xenoport, which licensed the drug to UK-based Glaxo, says it will receive a $10 million milestone payment from its partner as a result of the approval. The drug is at the center of a dispute between the two companies. In January, Xenport accused Glaxo of not living up to its contractual obligation of maximizing sales of the product and said it planned to terminate the partnership. Glaxo filed a complaint in federal court in Delaware, seeking a judgment. Xenoport then sued Glaxo in California state court accusing the big drug maker of fraud and breach of contract. Xenoport has since said it won't terminate the agreement but the lawsuits continue.

Xenoport received $120 million in total from the Glaxo partnership through the end of March. The biotech reported revenue of $43.5 million last year.

Shares of Xenoport dropped 12% to $5.34 in Thursday morning trading. The stock is still up 40% for the year. Glaxo's US shares rose less than 1% to $44.50 and are down more than 2% this year.

(See Arena Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Onyx Mark Key Dates in June.)

Twitter: @brettchase

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