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Why Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc (AUPH) Fell Today

Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AUPH) shares have fallen 11% today after the company announced the 48-week results from the “Aurinia Early Urinary Protein Reduction Predicts Response Study” open-label study of voclosporin for the treatment of lupus nephritis at the 12th International Congress on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and 7th Asian Congress on Autoimmunity jointly in Melbourne, Australia on March 27. In terms of the data presented, the study successfully achieved its primary objective by demonstrating that an early biomarker response in active lupus nehpritis patients can be a meaningful predictor of renal response at 24 and 48 weeks. In terms of safety, voclosporin was well-tolerated, and the safety profile was consistent with other immunomodulators. Voclosporin is Aurinia’s lead investigational oral, twice daily, drug candidate to potentially treat patients afflicted with lupus nehpritis.

Dr. Neil Solomons said:

“Results from AURION demonstrated that an early UPCR reduction of 25% is the best predictor of renal response at 24 and 48 weeks. In addition, the use of C3 or C4 improves the precision of predicting if a patient will achieve a clinical response. This exploratory study is supportive of the successful AURA Phase 2b study and continues to inform us of optimal ways to evaluate renal response in future LN trials.”

Although the data certainly wasn’t negative, traders evidently decided to use the event to take profits. Even with today’s decline, shares have almost doubled in March. With one presentation in the rear view mirror, there is one less immediate catalyst for the stock ahead. That being said, many bulls think that the long thesis and the market opportunity for Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AUPH) hasn’t changed.

What Does The Smart Money Sentiment Say?

At Insider Monkey, we’ve developed an investment strategy that has delivered market-beating returns over the past 12 months. Our strategy identifies the 100 best-performing funds of the previous quarter from among the collection of 700+ successful funds that we track in our database, which we accomplish using our returns methodology. We then study the portfolios of those 100 funds using the latest 13F data to uncover the 30 most popular mid-cap stocks (market caps of between $1 billion and $10 billion) among them to hold until the next filing period. This strategy delivered 39.7% gains over the past 12 months and outperformed the 24.1% gain enjoyed by the S&P 500 ETFs. Our enhanced small-cap hedge fund strategy returned more than 45% over the last 12 months and outperformed SPY by more than 30 percentage points over the last 4.5 years (see details here).

Given that it’s a small company, none of the 742 elite funds in our database owned Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AUPH) at the end of Q4. That metric might change going forward, however, and needless to say, we will cover the event.

The Bottom Line

Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AUPH) is down due to a combination of profit taking and one less potential catalyst on the immediate horizon.

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