TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Oct. 7, 2013) – Difference Capital Financial Inc. (TSX VENTURE:DCF) (“DCF”), a leading specialty financial services company, is pleased to announce its investment in Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc. (“Aurinia”). Aurinia is a Canadian company in the Life Sciences Industry focused on the development of Voclosporin, a candidate medicine for the treatment of lupus nephritis and other autoimmune diseases. Lupus nephritis, the Company’s leading indication, is a life-threatening kidney disease for which there is no effective therapy available at present.
DCF has invested approximately $2 million in Aurinia for an aggregate of 44,444,444 units of Aurinia. Each unit is comprised of one common share of Aurinia (a “Share”) and one-half of one common share purchase warrant (each whole warrant, a “Warrant”). Each Warrant is exercisable into a Share of Aurinia for a period of 36 months after the closing date for a price of $0.05 per Share.
Aurinia has recently completed a merger with Isotechnika Inc. (which was formerly listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange). Following completion of the merger, the combined entity commenced carrying on the business of Aurinia and obtained a listing on the TSX Venture Exchange (“TSXV”). The official name change of the combined entity to “Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc.” and proposed 50:1 consolidation of the combined entities’ outstanding shares are expected to take place within the next 30 days.
Aurinia has achieved significant milestones to date and is poised to advance its clinical programs:
- Aurinia has developed its lead drug Voclosporin as a candidate medicine for the treatment of autoimmune diseases;
- Voclosporin has been tested in more than 2,600 patients in human clinical trials demonstrating a superior safety profile relative to existing drugs in its class;
- Aurinia is ready to start a pivotal Phase 2b human clinical trial on the use of Voclosporin for the treatment of lupus nephritis early next year.
“We believe that Aurinia has the opportunity, under the leadership of its new experienced management team, to emerge as a leader in the industry,” said Neil Johnson, Chief Executive Officer at DCF. “Aurinia’s lead drug, Voclosporin, has the potential to become a novel treatment for lupus nephritis, a life threatening kidney disease.”
“We are excited to gain the support of Difference Capital,” said Richard Glickman, Chairman of Aurinia. “The partnership along with our story and business model is a complete package for success. I look forward to working with the Difference team going forward.”
About Difference Capital Financial Inc.
Difference Capital Financial Inc. is a publicly-listed, Toronto-based specialty finance company focused on creating shareholder value through strategic investments in, and advisory services for, growth companies, particularly in the technology, media and healthcare sectors, as well as through opportunistic investments in undervalued financial assets and real property.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) has in any way passed upon the merits of the proposed transactions and neither of the foregoing entities has approved or disapproved of the contents of this press release.
Aurinia is a clinical stage pharmaceutical company focused on the global nephrology market. Its lead drug, Voclosporin, is a novel calcineurin inhibitor. Many members of Aurinia’s current leadership team are former senior managers of Aspreva Pharmaceuticals (“Aspreva”), which Galenica acquired for C$915 million in 2008. While at Aspreva, this management team executed one of the largest and most important lupus nephritis studies ever conducted, called the Aspreva Lupus Management Study (“ALMS”), which resulted in the emergence of mycophenolate mofetil (“CellCept®”) as a new standard treatment for patients suffering from this devastating and potentially fatal disease. Aurinia will develop Voclosporin in combination with CellCept® for the treatment of lupus nephritis, a life threatening kidney disease. Aurinia has development and commercialization partners in Canada, Israel, South Africa and Greater China. More information is available at http://www.auriniapharma.com.
This release includes forward-looking statements regarding DCF and its business. Such statements are based on the current expectations and views of future events of DCF’s management. In some cases the forward-looking statements can be identified by words or phrases such as “may”, “will”, “expect”, “plan”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “potential”, “estimate”, “believe” or the negative of these terms, or other similar expressions intended to identify forward-looking statements. The forward-looking events and circumstances discussed in this release may not occur and could differ materially as a result of known and unknown risk factors and uncertainties affecting Aurinia, including risks regarding the ability of the combined company to protect its intellectual property rights, secure and maintain corporate alliances and partnerships, raise additional capital, as well as certain uncertainties including the potential of its products, the success and timely completion of clinical studies and trials, and the combined company’s and its partners’ ability to successfully obtain regulatory approvals and commercialize voclosporin on a timely basis, and many other factors beyond the control of DCF. DCF has an investment portolio and investors are cautioned to not put undue reliance on any one particular investment of DCF as a basis for making an investment decision in DCF. Investors should refer to the detailed risk factors involving an investment in DCF contained in DCF’s annual information form available on http://www.sedar.com. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed. Forward-looking statements and information by their nature are based on assumptions and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause actual results, performance or achievements, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statement or information. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements or information. Except as required by applicable securities laws, forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made and DCF undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
Difference Capital Financial Inc.
Chief Executive Officer
416 649 5088