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Small-Cap Snapshot: Crispr Therapeutics shares jump after FDA lifts hold on sickle cell disease treatment

Spherix, Green Plains, Atomera, Synthetic Biologics and SeaSpine Holdings are also making news
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The FDA placed a hold on CTX001, its gene-editing sickle cell therapy, last May due to 'outstanding questions'

The Russell 2000 and S&P 600 are not having a terrific morning as both small-cap indices are slipping in the wake of the Dow's 800-point plunge on Wednesday.

Here is a sample of small-cap stocks seeing action in Thursday's trading session:

Shares of the gene-editing company Crispr Therapeutics AG (NASDAQ:CRSP) are popping after the US Food and Drug Administration lifted its hold and accepted a new drug application for CTX001, its gene-editing stem cell therapy for the treatment of sickle cell disease. The FDA placed a hold on CTX001 lasts May due to “outstanding questions” about the therapy during an initial review. The green light from the FDA opens the door for a much anticipated early-stage trial in the US for CTX-001 in patients with sickle cell blood disease by the end of the year. Crispr is developing CTX-001 in collaboration with Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

Crispr Therapeutics added nearly 4% to $38.10.

Shares in Spherix Incorporated (NASDAQ:SPEX) are up on news that the New York-based intellectual property company orchestrated a merger with the private pharmaceutical group CBM BioPharma. The tie-up will transform Spherix into a pharmaceutical company that focuses on oncology drugs and treatments. CBM’s pipeline of drugs zeroes in on the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia, acute lymphoblastic leukemia and pancreatic cancer. The company also has partnerships to develop drugs with Wake Forest University and the University of Texas at Austin. Spherix, meanwhile, has its roots in owning and acquiring patented and unpatented intellectual properties. Spherix will pay $16.5 million in stock for CBM by issuing 15 million Spherix shares to CBM at a fixed price of $1.10 per share. 

Spherix climbed 19.8% to $1.21.

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Green Plains Inc (NASDAQ:GPRE) is on a tear after selling three of its ethanol plants to Valero Renewable Fuels Company, for $300 million in cash plus about $28 million in working capital. The plants are located in Lakota, Iowa, Bluffton, Indiana and Riga, Michigan. Proceeds from the sale will be used to pay down debt, according to Todd Becker, Green Plains’ CEO. “The sale of these three ethanol plants demonstrates our commitment to strengthening our balance sheet and unlocking value for our shareholders,” Becker said in a statement.

Green Plains picked up 15% to hit $18.46.

A handful of companies are seeing their shares dragged back today by announcing secondary share offerings, which investors tend to dislike.

Atomera (NASDAQ:ATOM), which develops technology for the semiconductor industry, is looking to raise $12.5 million by offering 2.625 million share of its stock at an offering price of $4.75 per share. The offering is set to close on or around October 15.

Atomera shed 22% to $4.63.

The late-stage clinical biopharmaceutical group Synthetic Biologics (NYSE:SYN), meanwhile, is looking to raise $18 million to fund its clinical trials. Its offering consists of 2.52 million shares of Class A stock and warrants to purchase 2.52 million shares of stock at a combined price of $1.15. Class B units consisting of 15,102 shares of Series B Convertible B preferred stock with a stated value of $1,000 per share and convertible into an aggregate of 13.13 million shares of common stock and warrants to purchase 13.13 million shares of stock. The warrants will have an exercise price of $1.38 and expire five years from their issuance date. The offering is set to close on October 15.

Synthetic Biologics shed 36% to $0.93.

The medical technology group SeaSpine Holdings (NASDAQ:SPNE) is also trading lower thanks to its offering of 3.25 million shares of stock at a price of $15.50 per share. The Carlsad, California-based company hopes to raise $50.4 million and the deal is expected to close on or about October 15. SeaSpine develops treatments such as spinal implants to help patients with spinal disorders.

SeaSpine shed 8% to $16.02.


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