Aurinia Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AUPH/TSX: AUP) reported its fourth quarter and full-year 2018 results after the bell today. The company reported a loss of $14.6 million or $0.17 per share compared with a loss of $3.3 million or $0.04 per share for Q4 2017. Revenue decreased to $29 million from $30 million in the prior-year quarter. Shares of Aurinia were trading flat in the extended hours.
The loss for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2018, reflected an increase of $593,000 in the estimated fair value of derivative warrant liabilities compared to a reduction of $9.0 million in the estimated fair value of derivative warrant liabilities for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2017.
R&D expenses increased to $10.8 million from $8.7 million in the prior-year quarter, reflecting the costs incurred for the AURORA 2 extension trial, the DDI study and the FSGS and DES Phase 2 studies which were newly enrolled studies in 2018.
Aurinia stock climbed 13% on February 25 when the US patent office extended the patent protection for voclosporin drug till 2037 in treating patients diagnosed with lupus nephritis.
The Phase III clinical trial for the treatment of LN is called AURORA, which is a 56-week trial. With the enrollment complete for the trial, the top-line results are expected in the Q4 of 2019. If all goes well, the company would file a new drug application in 2020 and slated for a launch in the US in 2021.
With huge unmet need, if voclosporin is approved, it has the potential to become a blockbuster drug for the firm. Upon approval, this would become the first drug to be approved for treating LN.
The biopharmaceutical company’s stock, which hit its yearly high ($7.85) on January 16, 2019, dipped 6% since the beginning of this year.
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