NephroGenex Q1 loss widens as it ramps up R&D spending

NephroGenex reported a wider net loss in the first quarter as the Raleigh drug developer increased research and development spending on its kidney treatment.

NephroGenex reported a loss of $5.2 million, or 58 cents per share, compared with a loss of $1.7 million, or 37 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2014.

R&D expenses increased from $500,000 to $3.4 million.

NephroGenex has no drugs on the market. It is developing Pyridorin, an experimental treatment aimed at slowing the progression of a chronic, degenerative disease of the kidneys caused by diabetes called diabetic nephropathy. About 6 million people suffer from the disease, according to NephroGenex. The treatment is now in Phase 3 clinical trials.

NephroGenex also plans to begin testing Pyridorin as a treatment for acute kidney injury later this year.

The company had $24 million in cash as of the end of the first quarter.

NephroGenex shares, which opened at $7.05, were up 3 cents in early trading Thursday. The stock is down 47 percent this year.

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