Cantor Makes Bullish Case for Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc (AUPH); Shares Rise

Cantor analyst Elemer Piros initiates coverage on shares of Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AUPH), with an Overweight rating and $14 price target, sending shares rising 4.5% in after-hours trading.

The analyst highlights three key reasons for his bullish rating:

  • Phase 3 AURORA Study is Well Positioned for Success – Voclosporin, a drug analog of cyclosporine, has demonstrated compelling efficacy in its Phase 2b AURA-LV study for patients with active lupus nephritis (LN) and is well-positioned in late-stage development to succeed. Piros sees a significant commercial opportunity for voclosporin totaling $1.6 billion in sales when reaching peak market penetration in the U.S. alone.
  • Experienced Leadership – Aurinia is led by members from Isotechnika Pharma and Aspreva Lupus Management Study (ALMS) teams who bring significant expertise on the development of voclosporin and execution of clinical trials for LN. These experiences informed the design and management executed the first positive primary efficacy readout in a global randomized placebo-controlled lupus nephritis trial.
  • Valuation – The analyst estimates that the combined U.S. and E.U. opportunity with voclosporin in lupus nephritis is worth $1 billion. Including his estimate of Aurinia’s 2017 year-end cash of $160 million, he arrives at a combined value of $1.2 billion for the overall company. Using his estimate of 88 million total diluted shares at YE17, he arrives at $14/share, our 12-month price target.

According to TipRanks, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Elemer Piros has a yearly average return of -1.8% and a 47% success rate. Piros is ranked #3743 out of 4560 analysts.

All the 4 analysts polled by TipRanks in the past 3 months rate Aurinia stock a Buy. With a return potential of 68%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $11.75.

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