STAT+: Aurinia Pharma’s takeout hopes dim with new legal challenge to key drug patent

A problematic impediment to the sale of Aurinia Pharma has surfaced: The patent life of its drug might not be as strong or long as it hoped.

Takeover speculation has swirled around Aurinia Pharmaceuticals since late 2019 when its lead drug, Lupkynis, proved to be an effective treatment for lupus nephritis in a pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial. After Aurinia secured Lupkynis’ U.S. approval in January 2021, shareholders practically demanded its management team put the company up for sale, rather than try to sell the drug on its own.

But despite more than a few rumors and false alarms, Aurinia remains un-bought. This week, a problematic impediment to the company’s sale surfaced: Lupkynis’ patent life might not be as strong or long as it had hoped.

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