Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AUPH) announced its Board of Directors has appointed Dr. Richard M. Glickman L.LD (Hon), the Company’s founder and Chairman of the Board, as Aurinia’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The board accepted the resignation of Charles Rowland as CEO and an executive member of the Board, effective immediately.
“My decision to take on the CEO role at this important time for Aurinia is fueled by my absolute conviction in the potential for voclosporin to transform the lupus nephritis treatment landscape,” said Dr. Glickman. “I have worked on LN for much of my career and believe that voclosporin will significantly improve the lives of patients suffering from this disease. Building on the success of the Phase 2 AURA study, Aurinia’s goal is to advance voclosporin while optimizing the company’s strategic vision and maximizing shareholder value. I look forward to engaging with our key stakeholders and working with this world-class team as we unlock the value and potential of this unique program, beginning with the initiation of our planned pivotal Phase 3 trial in the second quarter of 2017.”
“On behalf of the board, I am grateful to Charlie for his leadership as CEO over the last year and his many contributions to the strategic and operating imperatives of the company,” added Dr. Glickman.
Dr. Glickman brings over 30 years of experience in the creation and operation of healthcare ventures, founding and co-founding numerous companies during his career. As the co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Aspreva Pharmaceuticals, he played an integral role in developing and establishing CellCept®, or MMF, as the current standard of care for the treatment of lupus nephritis (LN). Aspreva Pharmaceuticals was acquired by Swiss pharmaceutical company Galenica for nearly $1B in 2008. He currently serves as founding Chairman of Essa Pharmaceuticals Inc., Chairman of the Board of Engene Corporation and a Director of Cardiome Pharma. He is also a Partner at Lumira Capital, one of Canada’s most successful healthcare focused venture capital firms. Dr. Glickman has served on numerous biotechnology and community boards, including member of the federal government’s National Biotechnology Advisory Committee, Director of the Canadian Genetic Disease Network, Chairman of Life Sciences B.C. and a member of the British Columbia Innovation Council.
Dr. Glickman is the recipient of numerous awards including the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year, a recipient of both BC and Canada’s Top 40 under 40 award, the BC Lifesciences Leadership Award and the Corporate Leadership Award from the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA).
“Dr. Glickman is a long-time supporter of lupus patients, clinicians and researchers and I know first-hand and greatly admire what his tenacity and passion can accomplish,” said Sandra C. Raymond, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Lupus Foundation of America. “He is a true visionary and a pioneer in lupus, a field in which development of new medications to treat the disease has been challenging. I’m thrilled to be working with him in this capacity and with the Aurinia team as voclosporin moves towards potentially becoming the first FDA approved treatment for lupus nephritis.”
Shares of Aurinia are down over 3% to $3.23 in after-hours trading. AUPH has a 1-year high of $5.69 and a 1-year low of $1.74. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $2.59 and its 200-day moving average is $2.90.
On the ratings front, AUPH has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on January 25, FBR analyst Vernon Bernardino reiterated a Buy rating on the stock, with a price target of $9.00, which represents a potential upside of 169% from where the stock is currently trading. On December 30, H.C. Wainwright’s Ed Arce maintained a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $8.00.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Vernon Bernardino and Ed Arce have a yearly average loss of 20.3% and a return of 10.2% respectively. Bernardino has a success rate of 23% and is ranked #4315 out of 4374 analysts, while Arce has a success rate of 41% and is ranked #600.
Aurinia Pharmaceuticals, Inc. operates as a biopharmaceutical company. It focuses on discovery and development of immunomodulating therapeutics. Its products include voclosporin and non-immunosuppressive cyclosporine analogue molecules for the treatment of lupus nephritis.