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Hollis-Eden Data Positive

The company's stock rises 4%.

Hollis-Eden Pharmaceuticals


presented positive data from an animal trial on an experimental drug for rheumatoid arthritis.

The new synthetic steroid hormone, HE3286, showed a dramatic benefit in rodents with collagen-induced arthritis when compared with a placebo, reducing the severity of the disease. Results from the trial are being presented at a conference in Italy.

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Hollis-Eden will also present data showing how the drug helps to keep the immune system from attacking the body itself, which is the cause of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. The drug will be compared to the effects of treatment with the steroid dexamethasone.

At a previous scientific meeting, the company presented early data showing that HE3286 improved glucose tolerance in early insulin resistant type 2 diabetes.

"The observed ability, in these preclinical models, of immune-regulating hormones to have potent anti-inflammatory properties without side effects such as immune suppression and bone loss commonly associated with corticosteroids, provides the potential opportunity to use these compounds in a broad array of inflammatory conditions," said Richard Hollis, the company's chairman and CEO.

Shares were up 4.1% to $5.56 Thursday.