Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Declines 9% Following Acquisition Of Two Pipeline Assets

Shares of Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc. (AUPH) are down more than 9% Tuesday morning after the company said it acquired two pipeline assets proposed for autoimmune and kidney related diseases.

Aurinia purchased AUR200, through acquiring privately-held Thunderbolt Pharma, Inc. by making an upfront payment of $750,000. Additionally, Thunderbolt shareholders will receive low single digit royalties on any future net sales.

AUR200, a recombinant Fc protein targeting B-cell Activating Factor (BAFF)/A Proliferation-Inducing Ligand (APRIL), is currently in pre-clinical development with an expected submission of an IND to the FDA by the end of 2022.

"BAFF/APRIL inhibition has been extensively studied and established as an important approach to managing immunologic response," said Neil Solomons, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Aurinia.

AUR300 was secured through a global licensing and research agreement with Riptide Bioscience Inc., a private company. Aurinia paid $6 million upfront and Riptide is entitled to receive milestone payments on achieving certain targets.

AUR300 is a novel peptide therapeutic that modulates M2 macrophages, a type of white blood cells, via the macrophage mannose receptor CD206.

"Dysregulation of M2 macrophages drives fibrosis. AUR300 acts to reduce M2 dysregulation and decrease inflammatory cytokines, and therefore may have significant clinical applications for autoimmune and fibrotic diseases," the company said.

Clinical development for AUR300 is expected during the first half of 2023.

"Both of these programs are rooted in strong science and at the leading edge of approaches for the treatment of autoimmune, fibrotic, and kidney diseases," said Rob Huizinga, Executive Vice President of Research, Aurinia.

AUPH, currently at $13.07 has traded in the range of $9.72- $20.50 in the last one year.

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