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FILE PHOTO: Company logo of pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline is seen at their Stevenage facility, Britain October 26, 2020. REUTERS/Matthew Childs

(Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline on Monday dismissed a Mail on Sunday report that said that the British pharma group could be interested in bidding for autoimmune disease drug developer Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Britain’s Mail on Sunday newspaper said, citing mounting speculation, that GSK is preparing a bid for Canada’s Aurinia. The report is not true, a GSK spokesperson said in an email.

Aurinia shares jumped almost 27% on Oct. 22 when Bloomberg News cited people familiar with the matter as saying that U.S. group Bristol Myers Squibb Co had expressed interest in buying the company.

The stock has been up almost 50% since the report, giving the biotech firm a market value of about $4.2 billion.

Aurinia’s drug Lupkynis is approved to treat a form of kidney inflammation caused by autoimmune disease lupus and the company is working on other treatments for autoimmune and kidney diseases.

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