Small-Cap Snapshot: Global Blood Therapeutics gets shot of good news from FDA about sickle cell disease drug

Casi Pharmaceuticals, Gold Resource Corporation and Sienna Biopharmaceuticals are also moving in the trading session

US regulators will evaluate the clinical-stage biotech's drug voxelotor, which treats sickle cell disease

Global Blood Therapeutics (NASDAQ:GBT) is a top gainer on the Russell 2000 after revealing a bit of good news from the Food and Drug Administration. US regulators say they will evaluate the clinical stage bio-tech’s drug voxelotor which treats sickle cell disease, a red-blood-cell disorder, under an accelerated approval pathway. Global Blood now plans to submit a new drug application for voxelotor for the treatment of sickle cell disease to the FDA under this fast-track pathway.

Global Blood Therapy jumped by 36% to $42.77.

Casi Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:CASI) is also surging after receiving approval in China for its drug Melphalan Hydrochloride for injection (EVOMELA). The therapy is used as a treatment prior to stem cell transplants in patients with the blood cancer multiple myeloma and also for palliative treatment of patients with multiple myeloma. The drug’s approval was granted by China’s National Medical Products Administration, the country’s version of the US Food and Drug Administration.

Casi shares traded 6.8% higher to hit $4.60.

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Shares of Gold Resource Corporation (NYSEAMERICAN:GORO) are also up slightly after the gold and silver producer announced the expansion of its Arista Mine’s Switchback vein system as well as newly discovered mineralized veins. The expansion of Arista Mine’s Switchback vein system, with intercepts including 16.95 meters of 6.21 grams per tonne (g/t) gold, 80 g/t silver and 4.50% zinc, will extend its strike length by about 100 meters to the northwest while broadening the Switchback vein system’s vertical reach in depth and height in this area. In the second advance, newly discovered mineralized veins were intercepted in a pair of drill holes testing an exploration target called Andesite Hill, which is located southwest of the Arista Mine’s Arista vein system. The new veins represent either an expansion to the Arista Vein system or the discovery of a third vein system.

Gold Resource shares jumped a tad before leveling off at $3.82.

Lastly, shares of Sienna Biopharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:SNNA) are sinking after reporting top-line results from a Phase 2b study of its drug SNA-120 (pegcantratinib), which evaluated its worth in treating patients with mild to moderate psoriasis who suffered from (pruritus) itchy skin. In this study, while subjects treated with SNA-120 saw a meaningful reduction in itch, the result did not reach statistical significance against a placebo. But on a brighter note, 27% of treated patients experienced a 75% reduction in their Psoriasis area and severity index (PASI 75) score from the baseline, compared to 13% of subjects treated with a placebo. Phase 3 studies for psoriasis, where itchy skin is measured as a secondary endpoint, are expected in the second half of 2019.

Sienna shares shed 30.8% to $7.00.

Contact Ellen Kelleher at [email protected]

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