RTP drug developer NephroGenex could go public this week

NephroGenex, a Research Triangle Park-based drug development company, is scheduled to complete an initial public offering of stock later this week.

The company, which filed IPO plans late last year, could begin trading on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “NRX” on Friday, according to

NephroGenex, which is developing a drug that treats kidney disease in patients with Type 2 diabetes, hopes to raise as much as $35.9 million, according to its latest regulatory filing. That assumes an IPO price of $13 a share, which is in between the company’s range of $12 and $14 per share.

The company will use proceeds from the IPO to finance the late-stage trials on pyridorin, according to its filing. Pyridorin is being developed to slow the progression of diabetic nephropathy, a chronic, degenerative disease of the kidneys caused by diabetes. The company says 6 million people now suffer from the disease.

NephroGenex bought the rights to pyridorin in 2007 from BioStratum, a Durham company co-founded by J. Wesley Fox, who also co-founded NephroGenex. Fox is NephroGenex’s president and chief science officer.

As of Jan. 14, the company had three employees and seven executive officers, according to its filing.

NephroGenex has no FDA-approved products for sale and, like many drug developers, relies on the sale of preferred stock and government grants to fund research. In 2012, it reported a $2.9 million net loss, and a $2.2 million net loss through Sept. 30.

It had $202,344 in cash and cash equivalents as of the end of the third quarter but raised $2.65 million in November and December by selling some debt that is convertible into equity, according to the filing. Those convertible promissory notes will convert into NephroGenex common stock if the IPO is successful.

The company plans to use $30 million from the IPO to fund phase III studies of pyridorin and $1.5 million to start developing an intravenous version of pyridorin to treat acute kidney injury, which the company sees as a “very significant market opportunity.” The remaining IPO proceeds would be used for general corporate purposes.

Staff writer David Bracken