Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc Shoots Higher on Aurion Data (AUPH)

Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AUPH) stock is up 33% in early trading Thursday after announcing positive open-label data surrounding its Aurion treatment.

auph-stockAurinia, a clinical-stage biotech within the global immunology market, develops therapeutic treatments for autoimmune diseases such as lupus nephritis.

The biotech’s lead compound is voclosporin, which helped propel Aurinia stock just last week after reaching its primary endpoint of complete remission.

Previously, news that 13 people died in a mid-stage voclosporin trial sent Aurinia investors reeling, and AUPH stock lost more than half its worth practically overnight.

FBR analyst Vernon Bernardino recently reiterated an “outperform” on Aurinia stock with a price target of $9, saying:

“The trial achieved its primary endpoint (1EP) of statistically significant greater complete remission in patients treated with 23.7mg of voclosporin twice daily (BID). Updated results showed AURA met all of its pre-specified, 24-week secondary Eps (2EPs), including in patients treated with high dose (39.5 mg BID) of voclosporin. Importantly, the deaths observed in AURA, which were met by negative investor reaction, appear attributable to complications of the disease, not to voclosporin.”

Today’s press release evaluates the study’s primary objective predicting the response of the disease between 24 weeks and 48 weeks. Results showed that seven out of 10 patients went into “complete remission” at 24 weeks.

From the chief medical officer of Aurinia, Neil Solomons:

“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. We are encouraged by our ability to quickly predict responses and remission rates in these patients, which can help clinicians optimize patient care and long-term outcomes.”

Today’s gains put AUPH stock closer to the consensus price target of $8.88, with 74% upside from here.

As of this writing, John Kilhefner did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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