Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc (AUPH) Gets a Price Target Lift from Canaccord

Neil Maruoka highlights encouraging prospects for AUPH lead asset in lupus nephritis after Analyst Day.


On the heels of Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AUPH) hosting an Analyst Day in New York, where the biotech firm shed new light on its strides forward with its voclosporin clinical program in lupus nephritis, Canaccord analyst Neil Maruoka has become all the more confident.

In reaction to exciting new opportunities at play, the analyst reiterates a Speculative Buy on AUPH stock while bumping up the price target from $10.00 to $10.50, which represents a close to 83% increase from where the stock is currently trading. (To watch Maruoka’s track record, click here)

Within the next two years, Aurinia should be unleashing data from its Phase III pivotal trial for its lead asset, leading Maruoka to cheer that voclosporin continues to rev “on track” for a prospective launch by the year 2020. Meanwhile, with a rolling NDA submission to the FDA anticipated to kickstart in back half of 2018, Maruoka bets this “could accelerate the approval process,” another win for the biotech firm.

“During the presentation, Aurinia also highlighted several new potential indications for voclosporin, including the treatment of Dry Eye Syndrome (DES). Although early stage, we believe that DES represents a significant opportunity for the expanded use of the company‚Äôs lead drug. Perhaps more importantly, we believe the development program for DES could create some needed potential catalysts for the company next year. With over $200 million of cash, we believe that Aurinia is fully funded to complete Phase III development in LN and early-stage trials in DES. We would be buyers of Aurinia ahead of potential global partnerships for voclosporin in LN and, possibly, for additional indications (including ophthalmology),” Maruoka surmises, confident that the Phase III AURORA trial glimmers with a “good chance for success.”

Wall Street backs this biotech firm with three cheers, with each voice as bullish as Maruoka’s. TipRanks analytics exhibit AUPH as a Strong Buy. Out of 3 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, all 3 are bullish on Aurinia stock. With a return potential of 101%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $11.50.