Small-Cap Snapshot: VistaGen Therapeutics rockets after clinching fast-track designation for a non-opioid pain treatment

Resolute Forest Products, North American Construction Group and Kala Pharmaceuticals are also moving in the trading session

FDA approved button
The designation has been awarded for its therapy AV-101 which treats neuropathic pain without sedation

The Russell 2000 and the S&P 600 are having a fairly good morning as both small-cap indices are up slightly.

VistaGen Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:VTGN) is on a tear after being granted a fast-track designation from the US Food and Drug Administration for a non-opioid pain treatment. The designation has been awarded to the company’s small molecule therapy AV-101 as a non-opioid treatment for neuropathic pain that does not involve sedation. This is the second FDA fast-track designation, which expedites a drug's regulatory review, granted to VistaGen since December of 2017. Neuropathic pain affects about 33 million people in the United States and is marked by a sensation of steady burning or “pins and needles” that results in abnormal neuron function.

VistaGen surged 41% to $2.15.

Shares of Resolute Forest Products (NYSE:RFP) are soaring after the Canadian company sold its paper and pulp mill in Catawba, South Carolina to New-Indy Containerboard LLC for about $300 million. Under the deal’s terms, New-Indy will pay $260 million in cash and assume $40 million worth of balance sheet liabilities, which are largely pension obligations. The Montreal-based Resolute will use proceeds from the sale to reduce its debt. Catawba’s operation, which employs 460 people, includes a kraft mill, a thermomechanical pulp mill as well as a paper machine. “This transaction will allow us to realize significant value for an asset whose greatest earnings potential lies with the investment in and diversification of the mill’s operations, as proposed by New-Indy,” noted Resolute CEO Yes Laflamme in a statement.

Resolute jumped 15.2% to $14.61.

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Shares of North American Construction Group (NYSE:NOA) are popping on news that the Canadian company will acquire the fleet of construction equipment and related assets of Aecon Group Inc for $199.1 million in cash. The new equipment will help to meet demand from companies working on oil-sands mines. North American Construction, which is based in Acheson, Alberta, is a provider of construction and mining services across Canada. It has purchased Aecon’s vehicles for heavy earth-moving and lighter construction as well as its support equipment.

North American Construction Group shares added 9.9% to $10.76.

Shares of Kala Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:KALA) are slipping after the biopharma group unveiled a secondary stock offering as well as the closing of a $110 million credit facility with funds managed by the investment firm Athyrium Capital Management LP. Kala will offer 7.5 million shares of its common stock, but further details of the deal’s pricing and its expected proceeds have yet to be revealed. The secondary offering as well as a partnership with Athyrium will help Kala hit its targets. These include a new drug application filing for KPI-11, its treatment for dry eye disease, by the end of the year as well as next year’s launch of Inveltys which takes aim at inflammation and pain following eye surgery.

Kala shed 16.6% to $7.74.

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