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Why Seelos Therapeutics Shares Are Surging Out Of The Gate

Shanthi Rexaline

Thinly traded nanocap biotech Seelos Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: SEEL) is trading sharply higher on over three times its average volume.

The company recently completed a reverse merger with Apricus Biosciences, and its shares have been trading under the ticker symbol SEEL.

What Happened

Seelos, which develops therapies for central nervous system disorders and other rare conditions, issued an update after the close Thursday on its pipeline development as well as corporate highlights.

Since the completion of the reverse merger Jan. 24, Seelos has acquired two candidates: SLS-005 targeting orphan diseases of the CNS; and SLS-007 targeting alpha-synuclein aggregates in Parkinson's disease.

The company has struck a collaboration agreement with the Team Sanfilippo Foundation related to its SLS-005 program. It is finalizing the protocol for an up to 20-patient, open-label Phase 2b study in Sanfilippo syndrome.

The combined company's cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments at the closing of the transaction were about $18 million prior to payment of transaction costs, Seelos said.

What's Next

In-line with its IND program, Seelos said it has begun preparations to initiate a Phase 1 study for its SLS-002 in summer 2019 to evaluate the pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and drug-drug interactions in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder at imminent suicide risk.

Upon completion of the study and review of data, Seelos said it plans to request a post-Phase 2 meeting with the FDA to discuss trial design requirements for a pivotal study.

For SLS-005, it expects initial patient dosing for the planned Phase 2b study in the second quarter.

The company also said it plans to begin evaluation of SLS-007 in Parkinson's disease in a proof-of-concept, in-vivo delivery in a Parkinson's disease transgenic mice model in the second quarter.

Seelos shares were rallying 17.56 percent to $3.36 at the time of publication Friday. 

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