August 15, 2016 / 12:27 PM / a year ago

BUZZ-Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc: Falls after lupus drug study deaths

** Canadian drug developer’s U.S.-listed shares down about 45 pct at $2.25 premarket

** Aurinia says its experimental lead drug, voclosporin, met the main goal of improving remission rates in a mid-stage study in patients with lupus nephritis

** However, reports 13 deaths across the trial, which it says were all deemed unrelated to the study drug

** Lupus nephritis (LN) is a life-threatening condition that develops in up to 60 pct of patients with lupus, in which the body’s immune system attacks itself

** LN patients’ kidneys become inflamed, leak protein, causing tissue damage and even renal failure

** Voclosporin is being developed to treat LN in combination with the standard-of-care treatment

** Up to Friday’s close, stock had risen 65.6 pct YTD

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