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Why Did Protagonist Therapeutics (PTGX) Soar 83.7% Today?

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Shares of micro-cap biopharmaceutical company Protagonist Therapeutics (PTGX - Free Report) soared on Friday, and were up over 90% at one point in afternoon trading. PTGX closed the day up 83.7% to $14.20 a share.

In its Q1 earnings report, PTGX provided an update to its clinical development programs. The company said it chose polycythemia vera, a kind of blood cancer where bone marrow produces too many red blood cells as the first indication for its lead candidate PTG-300.

PTG-300 is a treatment that imitates a natural peptide hormone called hepcidin, which regulates iron absorption and utilization in the body. It also plays a key role in red blood cell development.

CEO Dinesh V. Patel said the company is focused on “rapidly advancing” PTG-300 and deferring the start of an ulcerative colitis candidate’s Phase 2 study. This will help reduce expenses and extend its cash pile another 6 months through mid-2022.

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