Hot Pharma stock to watch: Rubius Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: RUBY)

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Rubius Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: RUBY) stock rose over 2.5% on 16th May, 2019 (As of 10:15 am GMT-4; Source: Google finance) after the company plan to begin enrolling patients in the Phase 1b trial during the second quarter with initial clinical data expected during the second half of the year. The company has presented important preclinical data from the emerging oncology portfolio at AACR, demonstrating the promising anti-tumor activity with no observed toxicities for the lead product candidates, RTX-240 and RTX-224, for the treatment of solid tumors and RTX-aAPC for the treatment of HPV-positive tumors. The company has made significant progress this year, including the clearance of the first Investigational New Drug application for RTX-134 for the treatment of patients with phenylketonuria. Dr. Straight Nissen will continue to provide consulting services to Rubius into 2020. With his departure, Spencer Fisk, senior vice president of technical operations, and Thomas Wickham, Ph.D., senior vice president of discovery, will report directly to Dr. Cagnoni. Overall, the company is on track to submit a total of four to five INDs across 2019 and 2020, while continuing to progress additional pipeline programs in rare diseases, cancer and autoimmune diseases.

Meanwhile, RUBY in the first quarter of FY 19 has reported the adjusted loss per share of 42 cents, missing the analysts’ estimates for the adjusted loss per share of 38 cents, as per Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate. Further, Rubius announced that company president, Torben Straight Nissen, Ph.D., will be leaving the Company at the end of July 2019, to join Flagship Pioneering where he has held a venture partner role since joining Rubius in 2016. The Company continued to strengthen its leadership by appointing Natalie Holles to its board of directors and Greg Whitehead as senior vice president and chief quality officer, while bolstering internal capabilities in discovery, platform development and technical operations.

On the other hand, the company has reported the net loss for the first quarter of 2019 of $32.6 million compared to $14.4 million in the first quarter of 2018. As of March 31, 2019, cash, cash equivalents and investments were $378.9 million as compared to $404.1 million as of December 31, 2018, providing Rubius with a cash runway into 2021. During the first quarter 2019, the company used $22.9 million of cash to fund operations and $4.2 million to fund capital expenditures. Moreover, In the first quarter of 2019, Rubius has invested $20.9 million in research and development (R&D) related to its novel RED PLATFORM and towards expanding and advancing its product pipeline, compared to $9.5 million in the first quarter of 2018.

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