What happened

In response to receiving a favorable analyst rating, shares of Aurinia Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:AUPH), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, rose 12% as of 3:55 p.m. EDT on Tuesday.

So what 

Investors can thank Justin Kim, an analyst at Oppenheimer, for today's double-digit jump. Kim initiated coverage on Aurinia Pharmaceuticals on Monday evening after the market closed and gave shares an "outperform" rating. A price target of $14 was also issued, which is considerably higher than the $5.80 closing share price on Monday.

Traders bid up shares in response to the bullish rating and sky-high price target. 

Businessman looking at data using a magnifying glass.

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

Aurinia's phase 3 AURORA trial, which is testing the company's lead product voclosporin as a hopeful treatment for lupus nephritis, is fully enrolled, and management expects to share data with investors in late 2019. Aurinia also boasts two other phase 2 trials in its pipeline that promise to expand voclosporin into treating focal segmental glomerulosclerosis and dry eye syndromes. Success in any of these indications could turn voclosporin into a potential blockbuster drug and would enable Aurinia's share price to continue to soar.

It's always hard to handicap an individual drug's odds of success, but we should know much more about its chances when data from the AURORA trial is released. Interested pharma investors will just have to sit tight while we wait for more information. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.