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Valuation of Saanich-based pharmaceutical company skyrockets to US $2 billion following drug trial

Valuation of Saanich-based pharmaceutical company skyrockets to US $2 billion following drug trial


Author: Mike Kozakowski

VICTORIA, BC - December 5, 2019 - A Saanich-based pharmaceutical company saw its valuation double in early market trading this morning following the results of a clinical trial.

Aurinia Pharmaceuticals rose to a US $2 billion market cap at $22 per share more than doubling its $11 trading range seen earlier in the week. The stock is currently trading in the $16 range representing a market valuation of $1.5 billion.

The company's trial drug voclosporin showed promising effects during an AURURA Phsae 3 clinical study involving individuals with lupus nephritis (LN), an inflammation of the kidney caused by lupus erythematosus.

“This extraordinary pivotal data confirms voclosporin’s ability to achieve statistically significant improvements in clinically meaningful endpoints for this complex disease, with a comparable safety profile to the current standard of care,” said Neil Solomons, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Aurinia. “This data represents a significant advance for people living with LN, which can lead to irreversible kidney damage, eventual kidney failure and death.”

In a global study involving 357 patients with active LN were enrolled, met its primary endpoint of Renal Response rates of 40.8% for voclosporin vs. 22.5% for the control (OR 2.65; p < 0.001). Additionally, all pre-specified hierarchical secondary endpoints achieved statistical significance in favor of voclosporin, which included Renal Response at 24 weeks, Partial Renal Response at 24 and 52 weeks, time to achieve urinary protein-to-creatinine ratio (“UPCR”) ≤ 0.5, and time to 50% reduction in UPCR, the company disclosed in a statement.

The robustness of the data was also supported by all pre-specified subgroup analyses (age, sex, race, biopsy class, region, and prior MMF use) favouring voclosporin.

Aurinia plans to submit an application to the Federal Drug Administration by mid-2020.

Located at Saanich's Vancouver Island Technology Park, a key real-estate holding and technology incubator of the University of Victoria, Aurinia is a major player in the B.C. Capital's technology and pharmaceutical industry.

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