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NephroGenex Preps $30M Stock Offering to Expand Kidney Drug Trial

Xconomy Raleigh-Durham — 

Kidney disease drug developer NephroGenex (NASDAQ: NRX) is raising $30 million in a secondary stock offering to expand the late-stage clinical trial of its lead drug.

In paperwork filed with securities regulators, the Raleigh, NC-based company says it expects to price the offering on May 7, after the markets close.

NephroGenex’s lead drug, a pill called Pyridorin, was developed to treat diabetic nephropathy, a complication of diabetes that can lead to kidney damage requiring patients to go on dialysis. NephroGenex says its drug works by blocking the formation of chemical compounds that contribute to kidney damage. Interim results of the trial are expected in mid-2016.

There are no FDA-approved treatments for diabetic nephropathy; the American Diabetes Association says the standard of care includes medications that manage blood pressure. Several companies are pursuing drugs that would specifically treat the condition. AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV) and Janssen are in Phase 3 clinical trials with their respective treatments. Vascular Pharmaceuticals, a Research Triangle Park, NC, company spun out of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is currently in mid-stage clinical trials with its own experimental diabetic nephropathy drug.

NephroGenex went public last year. In its latest filing, the company says it will use proceeds from the secondary stock offering to expand its Phase 3 clinical trial to approximately 150 sites worldwide. The trial currently has 61 sites. The company said it would also use the new capital for filing an investigational new drug application for an intravenous form of its drug. NephroGenex expects to start a clinical trial for that version, studying treatment of acute kidney injury, in the second half of the year.

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