Phase 2 Data Boosts Shares of Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:AUPH)

Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:AUPH)

Shares of Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:AUPH) have hit $6.35 (up over 70%) in pre-market trading on heavy volumes. The Canadian-based company released top-line results from its Phase 2b AURA-LV (AURA) study in lupus nephritis with the firm’s product candidate voclosporin.

Lupus nephritis is a type of kidney disease. The Lupus Foundation of America estimates that 1.5 million Americans, and at least five million people worldwide, have a form of lupus. Lupus is much more common in women than in men and most often strikes during the child-bearing years. Nine out of ten people who have lupus are women and is found more frequently in people of African or Asian background. African Americans and Asian Americans are about 2 to 3 times more likely to develop lupus than Caucasians.

At 48 weeks, the trial met the complete and partial remission endpoints, demonstrating statistically significantly greater complete and partial endpoints in patients in both low dose and high dose cohorts versus the control group. No unexpected safety signals were observed and there were no additional deaths in the voclosporin treated patients; however, there were three deaths and one malignancy reported in the control arm after completion of the study treatment period. Three deaths occurred during the trail but, according to reports, all were in the placebo group of the trial.

Dr. Brad Rovin, FASN, Director of Nephrology and Vice Chairman of Research for the Department of Internal Medicine at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center stated in a press release “The AURA trial’s long-term results convincingly demonstrate that the addition of voclosporin to standard of care treatment is superior to standard of care alone. These data are not only statistically significant, but clinically important. Twice as many patients given 23.7mg voclosporin twice daily achieved a complete renal response compared to those treated with placebo.”

Prior to today’s market activity, Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:AUPH) had impressive performance. AUPHG shares were up 77.5% for the year, 76.7% YTD, and 15.94% for the month. Should AUPH hold these price levels, it will close the day with new 52-week closing highs. Five firms follow Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:AUPH). Four rate AUPH shares as a “Strong Buy” and one rates the shares as a “Hold”.

3/2/2017
Ticker Symbol AUPH
Last Price a/o 9:00 AM EST  $                      6.18
Average Volume                1,750,000
Market Cap (mlns)  $                  143.93
Sales (mlns) $0.20
Shares Outstanding (mlns) 38.79
Share Float (mlns) 22.43
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership 0.00%
Short Float 11.73%
Short Interest Ratio 1.5
Quarterly Return 23.67%
YTD Return 76.67%
Year Return 77.51%

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy. 

About the author: Steve Clark is a 23-year Wall St professional with stints in M&A, risk management, and algorithm trading.

Author: Steve Clark

Steve Clark is a 23-year Wall St professional with stints in M&A, risk management, and algorithm trading. Steve keeps his head in the game by looking for, and writing about, small companies that often get overlooked by the big investment firms.

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