January 22, 2019 / 2:53 PM / 9 months ago

BUZZ-Aurinia Pharma: Falls after drug fails head-to-head trial with Allergan's Restasis

** U.S.-listed shares of Aurinia Pharmaceuticals fall 10.5 pct to $6.79 after co provides data from a mid-stage trial testing its drug against Allergan’s Restasis

** AUPH shares seesawed in premarket trade before opening 5.4 pct lower at $7.14

** Co’s drug for dry eye syndrome, VOS (voclosporin opthalmic solution), showed no statistical difference from Restasis in the main goal of the study, which tested it for tolerability

** Both drugs showed low drop discomfort scores and there were no serious side effects reported in the study - AUPH

** However, in the trial VOS showed statistically significant improvement versus Restasis on secondary goals, which measured effectiveness, AUPH says

** Data clearly signal VOS has the potential to have a more rapid onset than Restasis, but some questions remain, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Elemer Piros says

** Last quarter Restasis brought Allergan revenue of $298 mln; AGN has been aggressively defending patents on the drug to protect it from competition

** Up to Friday’s close, AUPH stock had risen about 37 pct over the past 12 months (Reporting by Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru)

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