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Little-known Pipex Pharmaceuticals (PP
) may have a stable of winners in the making. Its lead drug Coprexa, which has completed two Phase III trials, has an "orphan drug" designation (for rare ailments) to treat neurologic Wilson's disease, a genetic metabolic disorder. Coprexa is set to be on the market by mid-2008, says Laurence Bleicher of Noble Financial. "This oral drug is already worth more than what Pipex' stock is selling for," he says. That comes on top of two other applications for Coprexa that Bleicher sees as big winners. One is a further oral formulation called Trimesta, for women with multiple sclerosis. It has completed Phase I/II trials, funded by a $5 million grant from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and National Institutes of Health. Pipex is also developing Coprexa for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, which finished Phase I/II trials as well. High levels of copper result in such conditions, says Bleicher. Steven Winters, president of Gemini Strategies, which owns shares, says Pipex' drugs aimed at major markets are attracting investors. He sees the stock, now at 5.35, doubling in a year.Note: Unless otherwise noted, neither the sources cited in Inside Wall Street nor their firms hold positions in the stocks under discussion. Similarly, they have no investment banking or other financial relationships with them. By Gene G. Marcial