RALEIGH – Drug development company Innovate Biopharmaceuticals Inc. reported a second quarter loss that beat analyst estimates.

The Raleigh-based company reported a net loss of $4.2 million, or 16 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $2.8 million, or 23 cents per share, in the second quarter of 2017. Analysts were expecting a loss of 21 cents per share.

Research and development expenses rose to $1.2 million in the quarter, from $1.1 million in the same quarter a year ago.

“The second quarter of 2017 marked continued progress for Innovate as we continue to advance the startup activities for our celiac disease Phase 3 trials and progress our NASH program,” said Chief Executive Officer Christopher Prior in a statement.

Innovate’s shares rose 9 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $5.04 in Wednesday trading.

The company reported a 40 percent increase in general and administrative expenses to $2.1 million in the quarter from $1.5 million in the same quarter a year ago.

Innovate Bio is focused on developing novel medicines for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases with unmet needs. The company’s pipeline includes drugs to treat celiac disease, NASH, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

This story is from the North Carolina Business News Wire, a service of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Media and Journalism