FBR analyst Vernon Bernardino is out today with a research note on Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AUPH), providing insights from Aurinia’s Key Opinion Leader (KOL) breakfast event hosted on September 30. The analyst reiterates an Outperform rating on shares of Aurinia, with a price target of $9.00, which implies an upside of 103% from current levels.
Bernardino wrote, “KOLs at the event showed evidence that proteinuria (urinary protein excretion) correlates with long-term outcomes in patients with LN. Thus, people who have less protein in their urine tended to stay in remission and have a better longterm prognosis. The frequency of LN flares (increased disease activity) also correlated with overall disease burden, as well as higher rates of cardiovascular disease, serious infection, and hypertension. In the AURA 2OM, we were most impressed that patients on voclosporin achieved statistically faster time to partial remission (PR) and time to CR (p<0.003 for both).”
Overall, the analyst believes that voclosporin, the company’s immunosuppressant treatment for lupus nephritis, could gain accelerated approval. However, Bernardino thinks it’s more likely that full approval will require conducting a Phase III trial with a design similar to AURA but larger to confirm the safety and outcomes observed in AURA.
“We think the shares continue to offer a significant value proposition.” the analyst concludes.
As usual, we recommend taking analyst notes with a grain of salt. According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Vernon Bernardino has a yearly average loss of 15.4% and a 26% success rate. Bernardino has a 16.3% average return when recommending AUPH, and is ranked #4072 out of 4183 analysts.