Saanich biotech company secures $52M US for global drug study

Aurinia Pharmaceuticals, based out of the Vancouver Island Technology Park, aims to tackle a kidney-based form of lupus

A biotech company based out of the Vancouver Island Technology Park in Saanich received $52 million US earlier this month to help fund a clinical study for their drug that aims to treat a kidney-based form of lupus.

Michael Martin, COO of Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc., says the private investment comes as the company aims to start a lengthy global clinical study for voclosporin.

“The study is basically looking at active flaring lupus nephritis patients – these are very sick patients. And we’re going to try to induce remission, primarily driven by reducing the amount of protein in a patient’s urine,” he said.

Martin says now that the money is secured, they expect the first patient study to begin in the spring. There will be 60 sites in 25 countries that will test the effectiveness.

More than 2,000 patients have undergone trials of voclosporin. For more information, visit auriniapharma.com.

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