A Tale Of Two Pharmaceutical Companies: Aurinia Soars While Alnylam Plunges

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Aurinia Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AUPH), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the field of nephrology and autoimmunity, soared higher by 30 percent on Thursday.  On the other hand, shares of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ALNY), a biopharmaceutical company that focuses on RNAi therapeutics, saw its shares tumble by more than 40 percent.

Here is a look at what happened.

Aurinia

Aurinia reported on Thursday encouraging results from a 24-week clinical data called AURION (Aurinia Early Urinary Protein Reduction Predicts Response Study).  The study consisted of 10 patients suffering from active lupus nephritis and were given a 23.7mg BID dose of voclosporin in combination with mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) and oral corticosteroids.

The results of the study showed that 70 percent of the patients achieved complete remission at 24 weeks as measured by a urinary protein creatinine ratio.

“The results of AURION provide further proof of concept data to support voclosporin’s use in the treatment of active LN and continue to indicate that 23.7mg BID is the optimal dose to advance into our phase III program,” said Neil Solomons, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Aurinia in the company’s press release. “We are encouraged by our ability to quickly predict responses and remission rates in these patients, which can help clinicians optimize patient care and long-term outcomes.

<b>Alnylam</b>

Alnylam announced after Wednesday’s market close that it has been requested by a Data Monitoring Committee (DMC) to suspend dosing of its revusiran therapy in a Phase 3 clinical trial.

The company has been testing revusiran, its investigational RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutic for the treatment of hereditary ATTR amyloidosis with cardiomyopathy.

The DMC said that the benefit-risk profile for its drug no longer supported the continuation of dosing.  Alnylam noted that it made the decision to discontinue its study and has already notified its investigators, study sites and regulatory authorities.

“While this outcome is disappointing given the lack of available treatment options for patients suffering from this devastating disease, we remain committed to serving the needs of the ATTR amyloidosis community,” said John Maraganore, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer at Alnylam.

Alnylam also highlighted that the fact that its decision does not affect its patisiran therapy which is currently in a Phase 3 trial.