Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AUPH) Bouncing Back On Voclosporin


Patients of lupus nephritis would view favorably yesterday’s announcement by Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AUPH) of positive results from its AURA-LV phase 2b clinical trial for the assessment of voclosporin.

“In addition to voclosporin (23.7 mg BID) achieving its primary endpoint of Complete Remission (CR) at 24 weeks, both doses of voclosporin when added to the current standard of care of Mycophenolate Mofetil (MMF) and a forced oral corticosteroid taper, have met all 24-week pre-specified secondary endpoints versus the control group,” Aurinia said.

Shares yesterday jumped 9.09% to $2.64, with 3.85 million shares changing hands.

Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AUPH) undoes some of the August damage

Investors may recall that the Aurinia stock was mercilessly thrashed after the company announced the death of 13 patients in its Phase 2b trial of voclosporin for active lupus nephritis.

On August 15, 2016, the stock slumped 55.7% on news of the deaths, despite the company’s explanation that the patient deaths were not attributable to voclosporin, which duly met its primary endpoint in the trial.

In fact, Aurinia Chief Medical Officer Neil Simmons confirmed that the company was “very pleased” with the “encouraging” results of the trial.

But, of course, the market chose to believe otherwise.

Yesterday’s trial result was appreciated by William Pendergraft, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology & Hypertension, at the University of North Carolina: “Voclosporin has demonstrated it can nearly double the number of patients that achieve Complete Remission in the presence of very low corticosteroid exposure. Based on these data, I believe this drug has the potential to significantly improve the long-term prognosis of my patients afflicted with LN and could become an integral component of the standard of care.”

Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AUPH) is off its lows

Post the August crash, the stock touched a low of $1.74. It is now 51% above that level.

Further upside cannot be ruled out, once the significance of the latest result sinks in. But tough resistance lies in wait at $3.00.


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