Aurinia Board of Directors Appoints Dr. Robert T. Foster as New Board Director And Enters Cooperation Agreement with Shareholder MKT CapitalWednesday, September 27, 2023
Victoria, BC, September 27, 2023--(T-Net)--Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: AUPH) today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Dr. Robert T. Foster to the Board. MKT Capital Ltd. (together with its affiliates, "MKT Capital") submitted Dr. Foster as a candidate and worked collaboratively with Aurinia to name him to the Board.
In connection with Dr. Foster's appointment, MKT Capital has entered into a cooperation agreement with Aurinia. A complete copy of the cooperation agreement will be available on our profiles on EDGAR and SEDAR.
Dr. Daniel G. Billen, Aurinia's Chair of the Board
"We are appreciative of MKT's constructive collaboration efforts. Dr. Foster brings talents which can help strengthen the Board even further. As the doctor who discovered voclosporin, and Aurinia's founder, he has a wealth of institutional knowledge, deep biotech leadership experience, and has led successful mergers, acquisitions, and commercialization deals. These skills all will be helpful as we conduct our strategic review and continue the successful commercialization of LUPKYNIS," said Dr. Daniel G. Billen, Aurinia's Chair of the Board.
"We have been encouraged by our productive discussions with Aurinia's Board and are pleased to have reached an agreement that will benefit all stakeholders. We are confident that meaningful value creation is on the horizon for Aurinia shareholders now that the Board has initiated a strategic review and made significant governance enhancements, including by replacing its Chair and appointing new directors to the Board. We look forward to supporting Dr. Foster and the rest of the Board as it oversees a comprehensive review of alternatives," said Antoine Khalife, founder of MKT Capital.
Dr. Robert T. Foster, Director, Aurinia Pharmaceuticals
Dr. Robert T. Foster is the CEO of Hepion Pharmaceuticals, based in Edison, NJ and Edmonton, Canada. He is also an Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Alberta, and is currently a Board member of Transcriptome Sciences Inc.
Dr. Foster first began working on cyclophilin drug development in 1988 and has more than 30 years of pharmaceutical and biotech experience.
Dr. Foster founded Isotechnika Pharma Inc. in 1993 and was its Chairman and CEO for approximately 21 years. During his tenure at Isotechnika, Dr. Foster discovered voclosporin.
In 2002, Dr. Foster structured a USD $215 million licensing deal, Canada's largest at the time, for voclosporin for kidney transplant immunosuppression with Hoffman-La Roche.
He served as founding Chief Executive Officer, and subsequently Chief Scientific Officer, of Aurinia after it was acquired by Isotechnika in 2013.
Today, voclosporin is Aurinia's FDA-approved therapy for lupus nephritis, marketed under the brand name LUPKYNIS. Dr. Foster holds undergraduate degrees in chemistry and pharmacy and has a post-graduate PharmD and Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences.
Dr. Foster served as a tenured, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Alberta from 1988 to 1997. From 1990 to 1994, Dr. Foster was Medical Staff, Scientific and Research Associate in the Department of Laboratory Medicine at the Walter C. Mackenzie Health Sciences Centre.
Aurinia Pharmaceuticals is a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company focused on delivering therapies to treat targeted patient populations with a high unmet medical need that are impacted by autoimmune, kidney and rare diseases. In January 2021, the Company introduced LUPKYNIS® (voclosporin), the first FDA-approved oral therapy dedicated to the treatment of adult patients with active lupus nephritis. The Company's head office is in Edmonton, Alberta, its U.S. commercial office is in Rockville, Maryland. The Company focuses its development efforts globally.
About MKT Capital Ltd.
Founded in 2012 by Antoine Khalife, MKT Capital Ltd. is an investment management firm which aims to deliver optimal risk-adjusted returns for its investors. For more information, contact Info@mkttacticalfund.com.
Certain statements made in this press release may constitute forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities law and forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable United States securities law. These forward-looking statements or information include but are not limited to statements or information with respect to: Aurinia's estimates as to annual net revenue; Aurinia's estimates as to the number of patients with SLE in the U.S. and the proportion of those persons who will develop LN; Aurinia being confident that it is well-poised for growth; Aurinia's belief that it has sufficient financial resources to fund its current plans; the expected timing for the EMA CHMP opinion and EMA decision relating to the EMA MAA; and the planned timing for reporting top-line results from the ongoing AURORA-2 continuation study. [ MORE ]
Certain statements made in this press release may constitute forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities law and forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable United States securities law. These forward-looking statements or information include but are not limited to statements or information with respect to: Aurinia's estimates as to annual net revenue; Aurinia's estimates as to the number of patients with SLE in the U.S. and the proportion of those persons who will develop LN; Aurinia being confident that it is well-poised for growth; Aurinia's belief that it has sufficient financial resources to fund its current plans; the expected timing for the EMA CHMP opinion and EMA decision relating to the EMA MAA; and the planned timing for reporting top-line results from the ongoing AURORA-2 continuation study.
It is possible that such results or conclusions may change. Words such as "anticipate", "will", "believe", "estimate", "expect", "intend", "target", "plan", "goals", "objectives", "may" and other similar words and expressions, identify forward-looking statements. We have made numerous assumptions about the forward-looking statements and information contained herein, including among other things, assumptions about: the accuracy of reported data from third party studies and reports; the number, and timing of receipt, of PSFs and their rate of conversion into patients on therapy; that Aurinia's intellectual property rights are valid and do not infringe the intellectual property rights of third parties; Aurinia's assumptions relating to the capital required to fund operations; the assumption that Aurinia's current good relationships with its suppliers, service providers and other third parties will be maintained; assumptions relating to the burn rate of Aurinia's cash for operations; the relationship between COVID vaccinations and patient treatment; assumptions related to timing of interactions with regulatory bodies; and that Aurinia's third party service providers will comply with their contractual obligations. Even though the management of Aurinia believes that the assumptions made, and the expectations represented by such statements or information are reasonable, there can be no assurance that the forward-looking information will prove to be accurate.
Forward-looking information by their nature are based on assumptions and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance, or achievements of Aurinia to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. Should one or more of these risks and uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described in forward-looking statements or information. Such risks, uncertainties and other factors include, among others, the following: Aurinia's actual future financial and operational results may differ from its expectations; difficulties Aurinia may experience in completing the commercialization of voclosporin; the market for the LN business may not be as estimated; Aurinia may have to pay unanticipated expenses; Aurinia may not be able to obtain sufficient supply to meet commercial demand for voclosporin in a timely fashion; unknown impact and difficulties imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic on Aurinia's business operations including nonclinical, clinical, regulatory and commercial activities; the results from Aurinia's clinical studies and from third party studies and reports may not be accurate; Aurinia's third party service providers may not, or may not be able to, comply with their obligations under their agreements with Aurinia; regulatory bodies may not grant approvals on conditions acceptable to Aurinia and its business partners, or at all; and Aurinia's assets or business activities may be subject to disputes that may result in litigation or other legal claims. Although Aurinia has attempted to identify factors that would cause actual actions, events, or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements and information, there may be other factors that cause actual results, performances, achievements, or events to not be as anticipated, estimated or intended. Also, many of the factors are beyond Aurinia's control. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements or information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, you should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements or information.
All forward-looking information contained in this press release is qualified by this cautionary statement. Additional information related to Aurinia, including a detailed list of the risks and uncertainties affecting Aurinia and its business, can be found in Aurinia's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K available by accessing the Canadian Securities Administrators' System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (SEDAR) website at www.sedar.com or the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's Electronic Document Gathering and Retrieval System (EDGAR) website at www.sec.gov/edgar, or on Aurinia's website at www.auriniapharma.com.
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