Shares of commercial-stage autoimmune disease specialist Aurinia Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AUPH) raced higher in early action Thursday morning, rising as much as 15.7%.
However, Aurinia’s shares have given back most of these gains as the session has progressed. As of 10:58 a.m. ET, the biotech’s stock was only up by 3.12%.
Why did investors bid up Aurinia’s shares? Ahead of the opening bell, the company announced its second-quarter 2022 financial results. The biotech said that sales of its lupus nephritis medication, Lupkynis, came in at $28.2 million for Q2, a 327% increase relative to the same period a year ago.
Even so, Aurinia still posted a hefty net loss of $35.5 million in the second quarter. The company also said that it is maintaining its 2022 full-year revenue guidance of between $115 million and $135 million. Finally, the drugmaker pointed out that it expects a final determination in regards to the ongoing patent dispute over Lupkynis by July 26, 2023.
The long and short of it is that Aurinia’s Q2 results were broadly in line with expectations. As such, it’s not entirely clear why investors decided to bid up the drugmaker’s shares this morning. The most likely reason, though, is the remote possibility of a buyout deal being announced. Aurinia has been rumored to be in talks with various suitors since Lupkynis’ launch over a year and a half ago. With no progress on this front, speculators appear to be moving back to the sidelines.