Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc. says reverse-merging with Isotechnika Pharma Inc. gives investors what they want: a publicly traded entity with a simplified ownership structure for voclosporin. The company is looking to raise $25-$28 million to start a Phase IIb trial of the calcineurin inhibitor in 3Q13 to treat lupus nephritis, for which no drug is approved in the U.S.

Aurinia believes it can show that voclosporin will provide additional benefit when added to mycophenolate mofetil, which has become the de facto standard of care for lupus nephritis.