Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc. [NASDAQ: AUPH] has announced the acquisition of novel pipeline assets to target autoimmune and kidney-related diseases. For the past few years, the firm has been striving to innovate and diversify its development pipeline and in this regard, the firm has brought additional large and small molecule capability that uniquely supports Aurinia’s focus on immunology and nephrology.
The firms disclosed that the current acquisitions and the previous ones are revolutionary for Aurinia as they enable the firm to take advantage of its current R&D capabilities and commercial experience to back a balanced pipeline and promote advanced therapeutic solutions to aid people living with rare autoimmune diseases.
Furthermore, the first program, AUR200, was purchased by way of Aurinia buying all of the common stock of Thunderbolt Pharma, Inc. AUR200 is a recombinant Fc fusion protein intended to explicitly block B-cell Activating Factor, known as BAFF, and A Proliferation-Inducing Ligand, known as APRIL.
Both BAFF and APRIL stimulate B cell survival and diversity. They have been demonstrated to play a significant role in the pathogenesis of certain autoimmune and nephrology conditions. Moreover, Aurinia paid an upfront payment of $750,000 to the shareholders of Thunderbolt and will be responsible for future regulatory achievements.
Additionally, The second program, AUR300, was acquired through a global licensing and research pact with Riptide Bioscience Inc. AUR300 is a novel peptide therapeutic that regulates M2 macrophages through the macrophage mannose receptor CD206. AUR300 decreases M2 dysregulation and reduces inflammatory cytokines, and therefore may have substantial clinical applications for autoimmune and fibrotic diseases.
As part of the deal, Aurinia made an upfront payment of USD 6 million to Riptide. Further achievement payments are expected upon certain advancement, clinical and regulatory milestones, and royalties will be to be paid upon marketing. It is expected that clinical development for AUR300 will begin during the first half of 2023.