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Small-Cap Snapshot: Krystal Biotech shares pop on optimistic early results from new gene therapy treatment

Soligenix, SELLAS Life Sciences Group, AcelRx, WeedMD, Arcadia Biosciences and Security Devices International are also moving in the trading session
DNA strand
KB103 is the company's first gene therapy to treat dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa, a rare inherited condition that causes the skin to be fragile and blister

The broader markets might be taking a beating, but the small-cap indices are having a pretty good day with both the Russell 2000 and the S&P 600 on the rise.

Here are a few small-cap stocks seeing trading action on Monday:

Gene therapy company Krystal Biotech (NASDAQ:KRYS) is popping after announcing optimistic interim results from its ongoing Phase ½ clinical trial of KB103. KB103 is the company’s first topical gene therapy to help patients with dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa, a rare inherited condition that causes the skin to be fragile and blister easily. Two patients suffering from this condition received KB103 as well as a placebo on their wounds as part of the study. The data shows the treatment with KB103 produced a meaningful clinical benefit with the emergence of functional collagen type 7 protein as well as anchoring fibril formation. The treatment was also well-tolerated by the patients.

Krystal added 20.8% to $19.50.

Shares in Soligenix (NASDAQ:SNGX) are slipping after the late-stage biopharmaceutical company moved to add an additional forty subjects to a Phase 3 trial that is evaluating its drug SGX301 (synthetic hypericin) in patients suffering from cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). The study is still expected to be completed before the end of next year, but its expansion will delay the release of its top-line results until the first quarter of 2020. SGX301 is a new photodynamic therapy that uses light for activation. The therapy’s active ingredient is synethic hypericin, a photosensitizer that is applied to cancerous skin lesions and becomes active via a fluorescent light treatment. CTCL is caused by the migration of malignant T-cell lymphocytes to the skin where they form various lesions, typically beginning as a rash and eventually forming raised plaques and tumors as the disease progresses.

Soligenix shed 19.3% to $1.17.

READ: Soligenix must enroll more people in Phase 3 test to treat lymphoma, prompting shares to tumble

SELLAS Life Sciences Group Inc (NASDAQ:SLS) is soaring after announcing that it will present both interim and final clinical data from its Phase2b trial of the combination of Genentech’s trastuzumab (Herceptin) and nelipepimut-S (NeuVax) which targeted HER2 low-expressing breast cancer. The company will host a call on October 22 following its presentation at the European Society for Medical Oncology’s 2019 Annual meeting. SELLAS is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing novel cancer immunotherapeutics for a range of cancers. Its drug NeuVax is under evaluation for the prevention of the recurrence of breast cancer and has already received a Fast Track designation from the US Food and Drug Administration.

SELLAS added 23.2% to $1.54.

AcelRx Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ACRX) is jumping following an approval vote from the US Food and Drug Administration advisory committee on its opioid pain treatment drug. The Anesthetic and Analgesic Drug Products Advisory Committee voted 10-3 in favor of approving Dsuvia for managing moderate-to-severe acute pain in medically supervised settings for adults. The FDA’s final vote will take place on November 3, taking into consideration the panel’s recommendation.The FDA is proceeding with caution, given the rise in abuse of opioids in the US. The regulatory agency rejected the new drug application for Dsuvia last year due to concerns about dosing and its usage directions. Since then, AcelRx has lowered the drug’s maximum daily dose from 24 tablets to 12 tablets and updated the drug’s directions.

AcelRx climbed by 11% to $4.42.

WeedMD Inc (CVE:WMD; OTCQX:WDDMF) is gaining traction after expanding its executive team and welcoming new recruits in production, sales, marketing, communications and human relations. The Canadian cannabis company has hired five new executives, including Brett Moon and Dan Healey. Moon, the former vice-president of Canadian marketing giant Mosaic, will serve as senior-vice president of sales and marketing while Healey, the former  VP of operations at Maricann Group Inc (OTCQB:MRRCF) will be the new vice president of operations. WeedMD uplisted to the OTCQX from the Pink market earlier this month.

WeedMD jumped 3.2% to $1.56.

READ: Arcadia Biosciences gets US patent for wheat with extended shelf life

Arcadia Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ:RKDA) is on the rise after receiving a US patent for a trait in wheat that extends the storage life of whole wheat flour by minimizing oxidation. The new trait was designed to promote wheat consumption by improving the taste of whole grain wheat products. The US patent expands Arcadia’s global patent portfolio, which includes more than 195 patents and patent applications that are owned or controlled by the company. Arcadia Biosciences develops and markets high-value food ingredients and nutritional oils that help meet consumer demand for a healthier diet.

Arcadia added 6.4% to $5.30.

Shares of the defense technology company Security Devices International (CSE:SDZ, OTCQB:SDEV) are slipping after revealing its shares will begin trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange. The company’s ticker symbol ‘SDZ’ will remain the same and it will delist from the TSX-V this week. The Wakefield, Massachusetts-based company specializes in the development, manufacture and sale of 40mm less-lethal ammunition. The company offers a blunt impact projectile 40mm line of products that use pain compliance to control a target; and a line of 12-gauge, less lethal projectiles and irritants. Its clients include the military, correctional services and police agencies.

Security Devices slipped by 1.4% to $0.14.

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