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Aura Biosciences’ Q3 Loss Widens

Aura Biosciences Inc. (AURA), a clinical-stage biotechnology company, has posted third-quarter 2021 financial results and provided pipeline updates. Following the news, shares of the company rose 3.8% in the extended trading session on Wednesday, after closing 11.4% higher on the day. 

Results in Detail 

The company incurred a loss of $28.33 per share, compared to the loss of $14.81 per share reported in the prior-year quarter. 

Research and development expenses more than doubled on a year-over-year basis to $6.4 million due to clinical trials progress and ongoing manufacturing development costs for AU-011, the company’s lead product candidate. 

General and administrative expenses rose significantly to $2.5 million from $0.8 million in the prior-year quarter. Headcount increases mainly led to a spike in expenses. (See Aura Biosciences stock charts on TipRanks) 

As of September 30, 2021, Aura Biosciences had cash and cash equivalents of $81.8 million. The company expects the current balance to sufficiently fund the company’s operations into 2024. 

Pipeline Updates 

The CEO of Aura Biosciences, Elisabet de los Pinos, said, “We recently completed a successful initial public offering, placing us in a solid financial position to advance our lead VDC, AU-011, through pivotal development for our first indication in the ocular oncology franchise. We are very encouraged with the final data from the Phase 1b/2 trial with intravitreal administration that was presented by Dr. Carol Shields at the AAO annual meeting last week, as well as the continued favorable safety and tolerability profile of the ongoing Phase 2 study with suprachoroidal administration. These data support our plan to move into the pivotal program in 2022 with the goal to develop the first targeted therapy for patients with indeterminate lesions and small choroidal melanoma.” 

“We are also excited to work toward unlocking the broad oncology potential of the VDC platform and plan to initiate clinical development in non-muscle invasive bladder cancer during the second half of next year,” Dr. Pinos added. 

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Analysts Recommendation  

On November 23, Evercore ISI analyst Liisa Bayko initiated coverage of the stock with a Buy rating and a price target of $35 (75.1% upside potential).  

Consensus among analysts is a Strong Buy based on 4 unanimous Buys. The average Aura Biosciences price target of $37.67 implies 88.4% upside potential from current levels. Shares have gained 35% over the past year.

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