Investors lapped up shares of Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AUPH) after the company declared positive results from the trial of its Voclosporin drug for the treatment of patients with lupus nephritis.
Aurinia shares leapt 25.93% on Thursday, closing at $5.10, on volume of 30.91 million. They touched a 52-week high of $5.69 during the session, but gave up some of those gains as the day progressed.
The result validates the company’s claim in August that patient deaths in a trial were unrelated to voclosporin, and that the results of that trial were “encouraging.”
Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AUPH) announces results of the AURION study
The study assessed the short-term predictors of response using voclosporin (23.7mg BID) in combination with mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) and oral corticosteroids in patients with active lupus nephritis (LN).
Voclosporin is an immunosuppressant, with a synergistic and dual mechanism of action that has the potential to improve near- and long-term outcomes in LN when added to standard of care (MMF).
The company said that 70% (7/10) patients achieved complete remission (CR) at 24 weeks as measured by a urinary protein creatinine ratio (UPCR) of ≤ 0.5mg/mg, eGFR within 20% of baseline and concomitant steroid dose of <5mg/day. Of the 10 patients that achieved a reduction of UPCR of ≥ 25% at 8 weeks, 80% were responders (≥ 50% reduction in UPCR over baseline) at 24 weeks and 70% were in CR at 24 weeks. “The results of AURION provide further proof of concept data to support voclosporin’s use in the treatment of active LN and continue to indicate that 23.7mg BID is the optimal dose to advance into our phase III program,” said Neil Solomons, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Aurinia. Technically, if the stock manages to close above the March 2015 high of $5.25, there could be more bullish fireworks ahead.