FBR Reiterates Bullish View on Aurinia (AUPH) as Data Supports Strong Potential in Lupus Nephritis
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FBR Capital analyst Vernon Bernardino reiterated an Outperform rating and $9 price target on Aurinia Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AUPH) after the company announced positive updated results from its AURION open-label exploratory clinical study with twice-daily (BID) 23.7mg of voclosporin (VCS) in combination with mycophenolate mofetil and corticosteroid therapy in active lupus nephritis (LN) patients.
Bernardino commented, "Recall that the study's primary objective was to examine biomarkers of LN at eight weeks and their ability to predict response at weeks 24 and 48. Although results are from small numbers, we think the data are compelling for concluding VCS has significant potential as a treatment for LN. Recall that in June 2016, 57% (4 of 7 patients who completed 24 weeks of VCS) achieved a complete remission (CR) as measured by a urinary protein creatinine ratio (UPCR) of ≤0.5mg/mg, eGFR within 20% of baseline and concomitant steroid use of <5mg/day. The updated results show 70% (7/10) of patients achieved CR. Importantly, of the 10 patients that achieved reduced UPCR ≥25% at eight weeks, 80% were responders (≥50% reduction in UPCR vs. baseline) and 70% were in CR at 24 weeks. Biomarkers of inflammation such as C4, C4 and antidsDNA al continued to normalize over 24 weeks, and thus, appear predictive of long-term response to VCS. We reiterate our Outperform rating."
Shares of Aurinia Pharmaceuticals closed at $4.05 yesterday.
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