Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: AUPH) announced positive safety and efficacy data from its pivotal Phase 3 study of voclosporin, in combination with mycophenolate and low-dose corticosteroids, in the treatment of lupus nephritis.
The global study that evaluated 357 patients with active lupus nephritis met its primary endpoint of renal response rates of 40.8% for voclosporin compared to 22.5% for the control arm, the company said. The study also met all pre-specified hierarchical secondary endpoints, which included renal response at 24 weeks, partial renal response at 24 and 52 weeks, time to achieve urinary protein-to-creatinine ratio less than or equal to 0.5 and time to 50% reduction in UPCR. The company said it plans an NDA submission during the first half of 2020.
Jon Najarian, co-founder Market Rebellion, told Benzinga on Thursday that Aurinia call buying volume has been on the rise in recent months, climbing from 14,000 contracts in September to 61,000 contracts in October and 127,000 contracts in November.
Back on Nov. 11, Benzinga Pro subscribers were notified that a trader bought 3,700 Aurinia call options with a $10 strike price expiring on Dec. 20 at the ask price of 70 cents. At the time, the trade represented a $259,000 bullish bet. On Thursday morning, those calls were valued at around $2.29 million.
But while the Nov. 11 call buyer may have gotten lucky in timing the news, Najarian said some more recent call buyers may have had more than luck on their side. “Yesterday (12/4), in a single session our HeatSeeker picked up 33,000 calls, which was twice the MONTHLY volume in September!” Najarian said. Najarian highlighted heavy volume in Jan. 10 calls when Aurina shares were trading at $8.23 on Wednesday.
“I suspect regulators will have to take a harder look at the activity, as timing this good usually catches the regulators attention,” Najarian told Benzinga.
Current Price target and ratings
Aurinia Pharmaceuticals currently holds a strong buy to buy rating with an average price target of 11,50. The current stock price outweighs even the highest price target for the stock (14). The price of Aurinia Pharmaceuticals at the time of writing is 15,85. Wether it will hold this price, rise or fall, only time will tell. Personally i think it will hold and gradually keep climbing the coming days.