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Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AUPH)
Q4 2020 Earnings Call
Feb 24, 2021, 4:30 p.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Greetings, and welcome to the Aurinia Year-end 2020 Financial Results Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this conference is recorded. It's now my pleasure to turn the call over to Glenn Schulman, Senior Vice President, Investor Relations. Please go ahead, sir.

Glenn Schulman -- Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications and Investor Relations

Thank you, Kevin, and good afternoon, everyone. I'm pleased to welcome you to today's call discussing Aurinia's fourth quarter and year-end financial results. Joining me on the call this afternoon are Peter Greenleaf, President and CEO of Aurinia; Neil Solomons, our Chief Medical Officer; Max Colao, Chief Commercial Officer; and Joe Miller, our Chief Financial Officer. This afternoon, just after 4:00 p.m., we issued a press release announcing our financial results and recent operational highlights, which is accessible from our website at www.auriniapharma.com and has been filed on a Form 8-K with the SEC as well. We also filed our financial statement and management's discussion and analysis in our annual report on Form 10-K. I'd like to remind everyone that today's call is being webcast live on Aurinia's Investor Relations website, and a replay will be available approximately two hours after the completion of today's call. Please also note that the content of today's call is the property of Aurinia. It may not be recorded, reproduced or transcribed without prior written consent obtained from Aurinia. For approval, please feel free to reach out to me, Glenn Schulman, via email at ir@auriniapharma.com. Also, during the course of this call, we may make forward-looking statements based on our current expectations.

These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of significant risks and uncertainties, and our actual results may differ materially. For a discussion of factors that could affect our future financial results and business, please refer to the disclosure in our press release and our annual report on Form 10-K, which is publicly available, along with our most recent filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Canadian securities authorities. Also, please note that all the statements made today during our call are current as of today, February 24, 2021, and are based upon information currently available to us. Except as required by law, we assume no obligation to update any such statements as of this date. With all of that, let me now turn the call over to Peter Greenleaf, Aurinia's President and CEO. Peter? Well, thanks, Glenn, and thank you all for joining our call today. Today's agenda is pretty straightforward, folks. This afternoon, we'll be recapping what was a very busy fourth quarter of 2020 for the company, sharing an update on what's happening just 23 business days post approval and launch of LUPKYNIS as well as what's next as we continue to introduce this product to healthcare professionals and patients in the U.S. market. Of course, we will also provide an update on where we're at financially as we close out the year. We all know launching a product is obviously not simple as flipping a switch or pushing a button. The fourth quarter was quite busy with label negotiations, launch readiness prep, our internal launch meeting and preparing to ship the product to the U.S. market. We were also hard at work finalizing important, long-term agreements to shore up our ability to deliver and market LUPKYNIS well beyond launch and to expand the product into global markets around the world. On December 15, 2020, we announced a collaborative agreement with Lonza to build a dedicated manufacturing capacity within the company's existing small molecule API facility in Visp, Switzerland. The dedicated facility provides cost and production efficiency for the manufacturer of voclosporin while expanding existing capacity and providing supply security to meet future commercial demand. Just two days later, on December 17, we finalized and announced an ex U.S. partnership with Otsuka Pharmaceuticals, a company with a strong nephrology expertise to develop and market voclosporin in both Europe and Japan. These actions ensure that we can take voclosporin to even higher levels beyond the U.S. and focus on it moving to a global product, all the while increasing the overall value of the compound and its global potential. As part of the agreement, Aurinia received an upfront payment of USD50 million and has the potential to receive an additional USD50 million in regulatory and reimbursement milestones. And as you'll recall, in the back end of the deal, postmarket approvals, we share in double-digit royalties and a cost-plus manufacturing relationship with our partner. Through this partnership, Aurinia is working closely with Otsuka to ensure successful outcomes with the EU and with Japanese regulatory authorities. In fact, Aurinia and Otsuka have already met with the EMA, along with our and co in early January, and we remain on target to file the voclosporin MAA in the first half of 2021. The Are also working with Otsuka to execute an optimal strategy for interacting with and submitting a voclosporin application to the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency, or PMDA, in Japan. All of this, of course, has been happening in the midst of the U.S. launch. Max Colao will provide more specifics on the commercial team's progress to date. But it's safe to say we're right on track with where we want to be with LUPKYNIS out of the gate. Of course, post approval, the company doesn't just stop and wait for the sales and marketing team to do their magic. The clinical and research and development teams remain hard at work finalizing the AURORA primary data manuscript publication, which we estimate during the first half of the year; also continuous data display opportunities at upcoming major medical meetings; and working to meet postmarketing obligations; as well as, in addition, preparing for pediatric and adolescent studies with voclosporin to begin this year. Furthermore, the AURORA two blinded two additional year extension trial remains on track, and we anticipate achieving database lock by the end of 2021 and reporting our top line results in the first quarter of 2022. Lastly, we continue to evaluate options to further leverage development of voclosporin in new areas that strengthen our base LN indication. We also do work to bolster our IP portfolio and strive to drive new innovation within our development pipeline, through externalization and business development work. I'm deeply impressed with everyone on the Aurinia team and their ability to remain adaptable and fluid as we operate through the pandemic in this unprecedented winter weather we've seen. And we expect that things will only get better as the conditions improve, and we begin to see a return to "normalcy." I will now turn the call over to Max Colao, our Chief Commercial Officer; who will provide you some more detail about the commercial team's activities. After that, our CFO, Joe Miller, will provide an update on the fourth quarter and year-end financial results. So with that, let me turn the call over to Max Colao. Max?

Max Colao -- Chief Commercial Officer

Thank you, Peter, and good afternoon, everyone. So I'm happy to share with you what we've achieved over the past month since our approval and launch. And I might begin by saying, this is actually the 13th launch in my career. I guess that's a pretty good number, and if nothing else, it just proves that I'm old. But I'm making a point because none of the other 12 were amid an environment as unprecedented as what we all see with the COVID pandemic. There's a lot we've had to do in ways that have never been done before. And as you'll hear in a minute, the commercial team has stepped up to this challenge in a very admirable way. Of those 13, this is the fourth time I've launched a transformative therapy for a rare disease. As many of you know, the market dynamics that drive such are a world apart from launching a therapy for a larger patient population. Those dynamics haven't changed even amid COVID. So while I can certainly appreciate everyone's interest in hearing comments related to prescription counts. I'm sure you can appreciate that such numbers at this early stage and amid this environment can't provide a good indicator of market response. Even so, I will say that we've been genuinely pleased with the level of initial prescription volume.

The numbers are tracking to our expectation. In fact, if anything, they're a little ahead of what we were anticipating. We feel good about the very initial -- very early initial trend, and we will certainly be in a position to share more details around this obviously important metric on our next call. In the meantime, today, it is entirely reasonable to highlight, even at this early stage, our progress in executing our strategy. Just to refresh, our strategy has four planks: establish LUPKYNIS as a standard of care; ensure LN patients receive optimal outcomes; ensure there are no delays in the diagnosis of LN; and critically, ensure that patients can gain access to LUPKYNIS. Achieving all four of these strategic objectives is critical to the success of LUPKYNIS. What we've achieved in a short amount of time showcases our ability to execute strongly toward these goals. LUPKYNIS was approved late on Friday, January 22. Aurinia Alliance was online right early on Monday following the approval and receiving prescriptions within 15 minutes. 72 hours later, LUPKYNIS is in the channel. Our field team was fully trained and deployed within hours of approval. Interestingly, so far, 70% of our sales calls have not been virtual. 70% have been live and in person, fully compliant with local guidelines.

We think that in the context of COVID restrictions, this high ratio of in-person calls confirms very robust interest on the part of physicians. It also speaks to the incredible dedication and tenacity of our team. Talk about not letting rain, snow, sleet get in the way. We all know what the weather has been like. And this team is powered on to make and keep appointments with great energy and commitment. Reports from our field indicate that the physician response to LUPKYNIS has been very positive. As I've discussed before, ours is not a team of novices. They're very experienced. They know the stakes are high for us as a company and for them as individuals to hold back on sharing genuine feedback from the field. In fact, our team has seen many physicians actually identify patients in real-time during the sales call who are likely candidates for LUPKYNIS. That degree of specificity and thought is obviously encouraging. We've completed over 3,000 calls on healthcare professional so far, reaching more than 20% of our prescriber base. These include not only individual practitioners but clinical staff at lupus clinics, which are starting to get set up for LUPKYNIS prescribing. We've also completed interactions with payers, covering 190 million lives. And when we complete our upcoming schedule meetings, we will have met with payers representing 75% of the nation's insured lives.

Yes, that's 75% of insured lives in just four weeks since launch. That really does speak to intense and skillful execution. Finally, but very importantly, the early patient awareness and response to our launch has been incredibly gratifying. In fact, I'll close by sharing with you two posts from social media that I think say at all. The first says, "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. My sister died many years ago as a result of complications from lupus nephritis. This means that other families may not have to go through that wrenching experience." Another post begins, "Thanks to the Almighty. Finally, He has answered many people's prayers. Thank you, Aurinia Pharma." Happily, this is very typical of the comments that we're seeing and hearing through Aurinia Alliance and other venues. These responses not only continue to inspire us, but they also confirm the confidence we have that our vigorous, accelerated execution of our strategy is creating a highly fertile environment for an extremely successful launch. Thank you, and I look forward to further updates.

I'll now turn it over to Joe for a review of the financials. Joe?

Joe Miller -- Chief Financial Officer

Thank you, Max, and good afternoon, everyone. As of December 31, 2020, Aurinia had cash, cash equivalents and investments of $423 million compared to $306 million at December 31, 2019. Net cash used in operating activities was $69.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to $63.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2019. The company believes that it has sufficient financial resources to fund its current operating plans, which include funding commercial launch activities, manufacturing and packaging of commercial drug supply and conducting our planned R&D programs into at least 2023. For the year ended December 31, 2020, Aurinia recorded a consolidated net loss of $102.7 million or $0.87 per common share. Revenues were $50.1 million and $300,000 for the years ending December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively. The increase of $49.8 million in 2020 was due to the upfront license payment received from Otsuka of $50 million recorded as licensing revenue in the fourth quarter of 2020. Research and development expenses decreased to $50.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to $52.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2019.

The primary driver of the decrease of $2.5 million in R&D spend in 2020 was a decrease in drug manufacturing and supply costs, lower contract research organization, CRO expenses and other third-party clinical trial expenses, partially offset by an increase in regulatory-related costs as Aurinia prepared for FDA approval. Corporate, administration and business development expenses increased to $96 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to $22.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2019. The primary driver for the increase of $73.6 million was the buildout of commercial infrastructure in advance of approval, which included an increase in salaries and employee benefits, shared based compensation expense and professional fees incurred during the year. For the three months ended December 31, 2020, Aurinia recorded a consolidated net loss of $8.1 million or $0.05 per common share. Revenues were $50 million and $300,000 for the three months ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively. The increase of $50 million in 2020 was due to the aforementioned upfront license payment received from Otsuka of $50 million. R&D expenses decreased to $13.2 million for the three months ended December 31, 2020 compared to $13.3 million for the three months ended December 31, 2019.

The primary drivers for the slight decrease in R&D spend in 2020 was a decrease in drug manufacturing and supply costs, lower CRO expenses and other third-party clinical trial expenses, partially offset by an increase in regulatory-related costs as Aurinia prepared for FDA approval. Corporate, administration and business development expenses increased to $38.8 million for the three months ended December 31, 2020 compared to $7.3 million for the three months ended December 31, 2019. The primary driver for the increase of $31.5 million in 2020 was the build-out of the commercial infrastructure in advance of our approval, which included an increase in salaries and employee benefits, share-based compensation expense and professional fees incurred throughout the quarter.

With that, I would like to hand the call back over to Peter for some closing remarks. Peter?

Peter Greenleaf -- Chief Executive Officer, Director

Okay. Thanks, Joe. Thank you, Max. And thank you all for joining us and giving us your time today. With the launch of LUPKYNIS under way, we want to hear you -- we want you to hear from us bottom line that we're on track with our internal projections for the U.S. launch. Furthermore, with our ex U.S. partnership with Otsuka, we look forward to working with them to expand into additional territories, including Europe, with the upcoming MAA filing by the first half of the year. 2021 will also be a busy year with continued clinical development, medical presentations surrounding voclosporin. We would also continue to work to enhance value by exploring opportunities to expand our pipeline, and we look forward to providing additional updates in the months and quarters to come. As I stated earlier, we continue to work to enhance value by exploring new opportunities to expand our pipeline. As the launch in the U.S. progresses, we look forward to providing additional updates in the months and quarters to come.

So with that, I'd like to open it up to any of your questions. Operator?

Questions and Answers:

Operator

[Operator Instructions] Our first question today is coming from Alethia Young from Cantor Fitzgerald. Your line is now live.

Emily -- Cantor Fitzgerald -- Analyst

This is Emily on for Alethia. I was wondering how you think about the lupus nephritis patient population in terms of getting treatment during the pandemic. Do you feel like these patients are continuously going to their physicians to get treatment? Or do you anticipate maybe a bit of a challenge getting patient motivation?

Peter Greenleaf -- Chief Executive Officer, Director

Yes. Since we have on-the-ground experience with that now, I won't project. I'll ask Max what he's hearing from our field troops. Max, what are we seeing?

Max Colao -- Chief Commercial Officer

Yes. Thanks for the question. Yes, I would say that it's variable across the United States. We are definitely hearing of patients that are delaying their visits. But we're also hearing of physicians that are actively engaging their patients, either through telemedicine or getting them in live for a visit. So we're seeing -- it's variable across the U.S., but it doesn't take away from, again, effort and our confidence in seeing that the patient opportunity is there.

Emily -- Cantor Fitzgerald -- Analyst

Okay. Thank you.

Operator

Our next question today is coming from Ken Cacciatore from Cowen & Company. Your line is now live.

Kenneth Charles Cacciatore -- Cowen and Company -- Analyst

Just have a couple of questions. I was wondering, now that you've had a little bit more managed care engagement, is there any reason to sharpen the kind of the net pricing that you gave us before, $65,000? Just wanted to know if there's any additional nuance there. And also in the early going, just wondering if patients qualify for a medical exemption or how that's going to be handled. Second question I have is just around the whole process with Aurinia Alliance. I know this is going to sound silly, but with some early prescriptions written, how smoothly is the system getting patients to -- sorry, getting product to patients and patients to actually be able to take the medication? Just any early either glitches or successes that you're seeing and some nuance there. And then also, wondering if you could help us a little bit on spending guidance for the year, some thoughts on that.

Peter Greenleaf -- Chief Executive Officer, Director

Thanks, Ken. And I'll take the book ends on this one. I think as it pertains to the net price assumptions, it's -- at the end of the day, I think it's too early to tell. Policies are currently getting put in place, and I think our assumption is still where we want to keep it. So we'll keep it tuned as things progress. Max, do you want to take the following to the medical exemption section and the other?

Max Colao -- Chief Commercial Officer

Yes. And I can tell you that in all of our payer interactions, the payers have -- they've appreciated that the clinical and economic burden of LN. They've also appreciated that voclosporin offers more than the standard of care. And they've also appreciated that we're talking about a really small number of patients relative to their covered lives. So we've been encouraged with our interactions. And I can tell you that we have prescriptions that are now reimbursed across every payer segment. So we have prescriptions reimbursed on the commercial side, on Medicaid, on Medicare and also at the Federal government. I'll also tell you that the payers -- this is -- looks to me like any other rare disease launch where going from prescription to kind of working through the adjudication, approvals and finalizing the prescription takes some time. And definitely, we're seeing that as well, very consistent, but what you would expect in early disease launch.

Peter Greenleaf -- Chief Executive Officer, Director

And Joe, you want to take the one on expense guidance?

Joe Miller -- Chief Financial Officer

Yes. Yes. Thanks, Peter. So as we've previously spoke, the Q4 run rates will -- are fully burdened with kind of the build-out of our commercial infrastructure. So if you're kind of looking forward, it's probably best to look back at Q4. That will give you a reasonable estimate about where we'll trend going forward. We haven't specifically guided to the numbers yet, but that would be a good target point to kind of look what's going to happen in the future quarters to come.

Max Colao -- Chief Commercial Officer

Great. Thanks so much.

Operator

Next question today is coming from Maury Raycroft from Jefferies. Your line is now live.

Maurice Thomas Raycroft -- Jefferies LLC -- Analyst

So first question, I'm not sure how much more you're going to be able to say on this, but just wondering if you can comment generally on the types of patients you're getting on LUPKYNIS, whether the patients are primarily switches from off-label generics or treatment naive and if you're getting more uptake in community or academic centers. Any additional perspective on those?

Peter Greenleaf -- Chief Executive Officer, Director

Max, jump right in.

Max Colao -- Chief Commercial Officer

Sure; so yes, Maury, thanks for the question. It is too early for us to have any deep insights on the types of patients that we're seeing prescriptions for. We'll definitely have more when -- as we get into our next call. And tell me, the second part of your question was the...

Maurice Thomas Raycroft -- Jefferies LLC -- Analyst

Academic versus community.

Max Colao -- Chief Commercial Officer

Yes. So we're definitely having more access on the community side. As you can expect, academic centers, especially in heavy COVID areas, are pretty locked down. So -- but we're making inroads. We're making inroads across both, but we definitely have better access on the community side.

Maurice Thomas Raycroft -- Jefferies LLC -- Analyst

Got it. And second question was just on -- if you can talk more about the potential to get Codigo guidelines updated. Is this a priority? And is it contingent on the Phase III data getting published?

Peter Greenleaf -- Chief Executive Officer, Director

Neil -- because I know those are in progress, Neil -- Dr. Neil Solomons is on the call. So Neil, you want to give an update on guidelines maybe in the manuscript as well?

Neil Solomons -- Chief Medical Officer

Yes. Yes, that's right. I mean I think it's a good point. I mean guidelines are clearly helpful. And we've been in contact with the people who are writing the guideline for a few years now. But you're right that it refers to published data only. And that's why the sort of rapid publication of our current manuscript, which is, as Peter said in the introduction, is coming fairly soon. It's going to be instrumental. And they will kind of wait for peer-reviewed in the future and in order to update the guidelines.

Maurice Thomas Raycroft -- Jefferies LLC -- Analyst

Got it. Thank you for taking my questions.

Peter Greenleaf -- Chief Executive Officer, Director

Thanks, Maurice.

Operator

Our next question today is coming from Justin Kim from Oppenheimer. Your line is now live.

Justin Alexander Kim -- Oppenheimer & Co. -- Analyst

Just wondering, when you think about the commercial launches' progress, just how the team feels about the current commercial team and the footprint the team is able to address during the current environment. I know sort of Max gave some color about how there's heavy sort of in-person touch points. So just wondering how you feel about the size of the team and whether it could grow going forward.

Peter Greenleaf -- Chief Executive Officer, Director

Yes. I mean I think what we've said previously is we feel very comfortable with how we're deployed against the opportunity that's out there today, and Max can give more color as to how they're seeing that -- the interactions. I can tell you from other boards of commercial companies that I sit on, these types of access numbers that we're getting live are higher, quite a bit higher than what we're seeing at other specialty companies that I work with. And so we're encouraged by that. I guess the last thing I would say, and then Max, if you've got any additional comments, listen, we've got resources that if we found there was opportunity to shift a resource to a certain area where we saw we could fuel an opportunity or we saw the possibility of needing to expand, we could do that. And I think the forethought that we put into making sure we had enough cash on the balance sheet to do this launch gives us the ability to make adjustments we have to make. But I think the short answer is we feel we're deployed right. Max, anything you're learning in the first couple of weeks we're out there?

Max Colao -- Chief Commercial Officer

Yes. No, I think it's right on. I think we've got the right level of deployment. It's so early at this point. It's really very difficult to assess otherwise.

Justin Alexander Kim -- Oppenheimer & Co. -- Analyst

Got it. Got it. Great. Maybe just another one on a sort of macro level, are you seeing any differences based on how you expected conversations between rooms and nephrologists to go. Just wondering, is the commercial launch to target rooms ending up different from sort of your communications with nephrologists?

Peter Greenleaf -- Chief Executive Officer, Director

Yes. Max, I think you can jump right in on that one. I think the short answer is no, but he can give more detail.

Max Colao -- Chief Commercial Officer

Yes. That's it. The short answer is no. We're targeting both specialties. We're targeting about 12,000 physicians across both specialties. And the prescribing that we're seeing is across both specialties as well.

Justin Alexander Kim -- Oppenheimer & Co. -- Analyst

Okay. Got it. And maybe just a final sort of clarification question on sort of the opex side. I noticed sort of the R&D numbers were a little bit sort of variable quarter-to-quarter. Just wondering, is R&D fourth quarter numbers also sort of the right way to think about the go-forward spend?

Peter Greenleaf -- Chief Executive Officer, Director

Joe Miller?

Joe Miller -- Chief Financial Officer

Yes. Thanks for the question. Yes. So as we've kind of noted throughout the call today, there are continuation studies ongoing. So I would say directionally, there will be a shift in R&D-related expenses toward other activities. But generally speaking, directionally, they'll probably be fairly consistent with what you saw in Q4 going forward. There might be some timing-related differences as a result of when and if and when we start the trials. But overall, I think directionally, you'd be fairly correct.

Justin Alexander Kim -- Oppenheimer & Co. -- Analyst

Got it. Great. Thanks for taking the question.

Peter Greenleaf -- Chief Executive Officer, Director

Thanks, Justin.

Operator

The next question today is coming from David Martin from Bloom Burton. Your line is now live.

David C. Martin -- Bloom Burton & Co -- Analyst

Yes. I know it's early, but are you seeing that physicians are treating one set of patients with Benlysta and another set with voclosporin? Or are physicians making a decision, "I'll treat all my patients with one drug or the other."? And if patients are already on Benlysta for SLE, are there any cases where they're adding voclosporin to Benlysta?

Peter Greenleaf -- Chief Executive Officer, Director

Yes. So I think my answer to both of those would be it's early probably for us to be seeing the trends, and we're not actually out there aggregating data on where Benlysta fits into the treatment paradigm. So let me see if Max has been hearing any of this, and it might actually be good to see if Neil has any comment as well. But my answer would be I don't think we have much of that data at this stage of the game. Max, are you hearing anything?

Max Colao -- Chief Commercial Officer

Look, I just -- it's -- yes, we don't -- it's too early for us to have real insights to your questions or good questions. We haven't even run market research post surveys yet, given that we're 23 days into launch. We have many schedule, but we haven't run any yet, right? So we'll have more insights as we go along, but it's -- they're good questions, but we're not there yet in terms of that -- those deep insights.

David C. Martin -- Bloom Burton & Co -- Analyst

Okay. Yes. And I did have another question. Sorry.

Peter Greenleaf -- Chief Executive Officer, Director

Yes. Neil, anything from you?

Neil Solomons -- Chief Medical Officer

No. No. I was going to add that although people talk theoretically, hypothetically about the combination of Benlysta and voclosporin, I think it's too early. We've not heard an awful lot about that combination, but we may do in the future months, too.

David C. Martin -- Bloom Burton & Co -- Analyst

Okay. Peter, you mentioned postmarketing obligations. What are those? What are you required to do?

Peter Greenleaf -- Chief Executive Officer, Director

Yes. So I mean there are what we're required to do, and there's what the FDA has had further questions about that we can sort of formulate a response to and decide whether we're going to do more work on or not. So Neil, do you want to maybe just go into some of that detail?

Neil Solomons -- Chief Medical Officer

Yes. In terms of the requirements, which are things that we actually have to do, there's presenting the AURORA two finding study report next year. Is number one, which, of course, we're doing anyway. There's a study and also the pediatric -- adolescent and then pediatric trial as well. We've also got a drug-drug interaction trial, which is something the FDA would like to see as well. So we're looking at doing now.

David C. Martin -- Bloom Burton & Co -- Analyst

Okay. Thank you.

Operator

[Operator Instructions] Our next question today is coming from A. Arce from H.C. Wainwright. Your line is now live.

Antonio Eduardo Arce -- H.C. Wainwright & Co -- Analyst

Great. So firstly, I realize, again, this is very early days, as you've mentioned before, 23 days past approval and launch. But -- and the Rx counts can't really provide any good indication just yet. But wondering, given the variability in the early days, do you have a sense for when, though, that variability may sort of level out and, therefore, start to provide some indication of value from what the demand looks like? How far out before the Rx accounts actually start to signal some sort of a trend? And along with that, are there any other important metrics that you're following in launch that could help provide further insight?

Peter Greenleaf -- Chief Executive Officer, Director

Yes. I think Max mentioned many of the high-level metrics that we're looking at right now, whether that be the amount of calls we're actually making on targets, what our access looks like in those targets, the payer work that we're doing, policies that we're following, etc. But I'll, in a second, turn it over to Max and see if he wants to add any more color. I think our promise to everyone is going to be that over time, as we're more than 23 business days into this, is to give more color, not just on what actual prescription trends look like in policy and coverage trends look like, but to also give leading indicators that we think are important to look at. We've given the ones today that we think are important this early in the game. So -- and on the prescription trend front, I think just want to make sure everybody heard what we said. I think while we're not giving exact numbers, you should feel comfortable that the trends we're seeing are on target with what our internal expectations have been with -- from day one and our access numbers in terms of seeing physicians live, albeit it's tougher in the academic centers, it's above target with where we expect it to be. So we feel good about things. We just think it's too early to throw numbers out there because those numbers, I don't think, would be indicative of really where we are so early. So anyway, Max, what would you add?

Max Colao -- Chief Commercial Officer

I think you covered it perfectly. I think the only other thing that we're going to be watching very closely is prepare to develop LUPKYNIS-specific coverage policies. Right now, we only -- we have one payer that's developed a LUPKYNIS-specific coverage policy, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina. And I'm sure many others will follow in the next months.

Antonio Eduardo Arce -- H.C. Wainwright & Co -- Analyst

Okay. Great. And then just as a follow-up to confirm I heard this correctly, Max. The total number of payers that you're targeting have an aggregated coverage of 190 million lives, I think, you said. And with the next couple of meetings coming up in a few days, total insured lives would represent 75% or about $140 million of that. Is that correct?

Max Colao -- Chief Commercial Officer

The numbers will add to the 190 million. We have -- I think it's another 36 million lives lined up in terms of these upcoming meetings.

Antonio Eduardo Arce -- H.C. Wainwright & Co -- Analyst

Okay. Great. And then lastly, with the data coming up in the first quarter next year for AURORA two just if you could remind us what key data points you're looking for there, what you're expecting and what you're measuring.

Peter Greenleaf -- Chief Executive Officer, Director

Thanks. Neil, do you want to jump in, just give the detail?

Neil Solomons -- Chief Medical Officer

Yes. So I think it should be -- should remind people that this is primarily a safety study. That was our commitment. And that's going to be the primary output from this in this trial. But clearly, the other things we're going to look at as well such as relapse rates in both arms and, obviously, the stability of renal function over the three year period. two other things like compliance where the people continue to stay on drug or not. But yes, I mean it's going to be going to produce a huge amount of very valuable data for us and the prescribers.

Antonio Eduardo Arce -- H.C. Wainwright & Co -- Analyst

Fantastic. Thanks so much.

Peter Greenleaf -- Chief Executive Officer, Director

Thanks,

Operator

Thank you. We've reached the end of our question-and-answer session. I'd like to turn the floor back over to Peter for any further closing comments.

Peter Greenleaf -- Chief Executive Officer, Director

Well, thank you, operator, and I want to thank you all for joining us on the call this afternoon. As you can see, 2021 will continue to be an exciting year for the company, and I'm looking forward to providing -- we're looking forward to providing additional updates as our progress continues over the next coming months. Thank you all for your continued support, and have a great evening.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks]

Duration: 39 minutes

Call participants:

Glenn Schulman -- Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications and Investor Relations

Max Colao -- Chief Commercial Officer

Joe Miller -- Chief Financial Officer

Peter Greenleaf -- Chief Executive Officer, Director

Neil Solomons -- Chief Medical Officer

Emily -- Cantor Fitzgerald -- Analyst

Kenneth Charles Cacciatore -- Cowen and Company -- Analyst

Maurice Thomas Raycroft -- Jefferies LLC -- Analyst

Justin Alexander Kim -- Oppenheimer & Co. -- Analyst

David C. Martin -- Bloom Burton & Co -- Analyst

Antonio Eduardo Arce -- H.C. Wainwright & Co -- Analyst

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