NephroGenex shares soar after FDA approves study of drug

Shares of NephroGenex rose 48 percent Monday after the Raleigh pharmaceutical company announced that regulators have approved the testing of its drug Pyridorin for the treatment of acute kidney injury.

NephroGenex is already testing Pyridorin as an experimental treatment for diabetic nephropathy, a chronic, degenerative disease of the kidneys caused by diabetes that about 6 million people suffer from. The company is now conducting Phase 3 trials for Pyridorin’s treatment of diabetic nephropathy.

The Food and Drug Administration’s latest action clears the company to conduct clinical trials on using Pyridorin to treat acute kidney injury, which NephroGenex estimates affects up to 18 percent of hospital inpatients and is responsible for roughly 2 million deaths worldwide annually.

“The clearance of our application for I.V. Pyridorin represents a significant milestone for our acute kidney injury program,” Jaikrishna Patel, NephroGenex’s chief medical officer, said in a statement.

NephroGenex’s stock has underperformed since the company went public at $12 a share in February 2014.

The shares closed Monday at $2.13, up 69 cents, but are down 84 percent this year. NephroGenex raised $6.6 million in a public stock sale in July, selling 1.5 million shares at $6.25 per share.

David Bracken: 919-829-4548, @brackendavid