Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc (AUPH) Could Unlock Share Value Ahead of 2019 Lupus Nephritis Data, Says Cantor

Elemer Piros reaffirms his bullish thesis on AUPH after a compelling R&D day mapping the next 24 months.


Cantor analyst Elemer Piros is out with an enthusiastic take on Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AUPH) on the heels of the drug maker’s R&D day that has laid forth a meaningful pathway for the next two years.

In reaction, the analyst continues to see immense value in this biotech player, reiterating an Overweight rating on AUPH stock with a $14 price target, which represents a close to 131% increase from where the stock is currently trading. (To watch Piros’ track record, click here)

Piros pinpoints meaningful plans including: “advance preparation for the rolling NDA in lupus nephritis (LN), additional renal indications for the pipeline, and development of a topical product formulation in dry eye disease,” adding on an exciting note regarding the forthcoming Phase III AURORA trial in lupus nephritis, “We believe the ambitious schedule adds meaningful catalysts for the shares that could unlock additional potential value before the pivotal Phase 3 LN data in 2H19.”

Additional opportunities glimmer in focal segmental glomerular sclerosis as well as minimal change disease, as the analyst elaborates, “Based on the unmet need in focal segmental glomerular sclerosis (FSGS) and minimal change disease (MCD), we are encouraged by the company’s opportunity to add these indications to the pipeline. In our view, voclosporin’s action on podocytes, a key aspect of these diseases, and a differentiated safety profile (preserved renal function and improved glucose profile) could make the drug a compelling treatment option.”

Keep in mind, Aurinia also has Voclosporin ophthalmic solution (VOS) also in the mix, in a marker where the best dry eye asset Restasis has an Achilles’ heel: poor tolerability, where 17% of patients suffer from ocular burning as a side effect. Piros concludes looking forward to VOS’ opportunity as a dry eye asset: “Voclosporin ophthalmic solution (VOS) (0.2%) could demonstrate a profile that allows the potential to dose at higher concentrations with fewer associated liabilities.”

TipRanks analytics showcase AUPH as a Strong Buy. Based on 3 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, all 3 rate a Buy on Aurinia stock. The 12-month average price target stands at $11.33, marking a nearly 88% upside from where the stock is currently trading.

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