Facing questions on patient deaths, Aurinia shares crater in wake of lupus study
Aurinia Pharmaceuticals managed to kick up a brief spike in its share price this morning after releasing some upbeat numbers from a Phase IIb study of its lupus drug voclosporin. But it didn’t last long. The shares $AUPH quickly cratered, plunging by 48%, as questions turned to a cluster of deaths tracked in its two dosage arms as well as the cost of the pivotal study needed for an approval.
At first blush, the numbers in the 265-patient study looked solid. The low dose of the drug hit the primary endpoint on complete responses for the lupus patients. But during the followup call, analysts questioned why the low dose would beat out the high dose on CRs. They also zeroed in on 13 deaths recorded in the study – 10 in the low-dose arm, 2 in the high-dose arm and only one in the control group.
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