Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AUPH), a clinical-stage biotech, is back in the game Friday after announcing positive topline data from its Phase 2b trial of voclosporin.
Voclosporin, the company’s immunosuppressant treatment for lupus nephritis, achieved its primary endpoint of complete remission in 24 weeks. Today’s news put the wind back into AUPH’s sails, and it’s not farfetched to see Aurinia trading toward its all-time high again soon.
It’s rare to look at the long-term history of a small-cap biotech like AUPH stock and see gains of 1500%-plus, but it’s not as if there haven’t been any hiccups. From Aug. 12 until yesterday, shares of Aurinia were off nearly 40%.
That rout came after it was disclosed that 13 patients died during a mid-stage trial of voclosporin. In response, AUPH stock went from trading hands at $4.26 per share the morning of Aug. 12 to $1.81 by the end of Aug. 15.
The company remained encouraged by the data it gathered from its AURA-LV study, however, and that rout undoubtedly turned out a buying opportunity, as AUPH is adding a casual 26% to its stock price as of this writing.
From Aurinia CEO Charles Rowland:
“We are thrilled by the results of the AURA study and voclosporin’s potential to shift the treatment paradigm for active lupus nephritis. The ability to get more patients into remission and in a shorter period time than the current standard of care can have a significant impact on the long-term outcomes for these patients.”
What’s more, William Pendergraft, an assistant professor with the University of North Carolina, remarked glowingly about the prospects of voclosporin:
“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.”
But even after today’s gains, AUPH stock is still down 23% from Aug. 12, and well under the $7.50 median price target set by analysts.
As of this writing, John Kilhefner did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.