First Orphan Drug Designation for OBI-999, a novel first-in-class Antibody-Drug Conjugate targeting Globo H, a glycolipid antigen found on multiple tumor types
TAIPEI, Taiwan, Dec. 26, 2019 — OBI Pharma, Inc., a Taiwan biopharma company (TPEx: 4174), today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Orphan Drug Designation for OBI-999 for the treatment of Pancreatic Cancer. OBI-999 is a first-in-class antibody drug conjugate targeting Globo H, a glycolipid antigen.
A Phase 1/2 clinical trial of OBI-999 has commenced enrollment at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, with Dr. Apostolia M. Tsimberidou as the Principal Investigator, in patients with locally advanced or metastatic solid tumors, including Pancreatic, Gastric, Colorectal and Esophageal Cancers (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04084366). The objective of the trial is to verify the safety and preliminary efficacy profile of OBI-999 in these patient populations.
Tillman Pearce, MD, CMO, OBI Pharma noted, “We are very excited about the potential value that OBI-999 may provide to patients with pancreatic cancer given both the high potency we have observed using OBI-999 in pancreatic cancer xenograft models and because many pancreas cancers highly overexpress Globo H, the glycolipid target of OBI-999, using the validated IHC assay that will be available for selecting patients for the Phase 2 portion of this first-in-human clinical trial.”
About Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic Cancer originates in the exocrine or endocrine pancreatic cells and is thought to be caused by poor diet, smoking, and genetic factors. Pancreatic Cancer is a deadly disease that currently affects 69,839 people in the US and has a survival rate of only 8.5% at five years. In addition, treatment options are limited to surgical resection for patients with early stages of the disease and these patients may only have a five-year survival rate of up to 34.3%. As Pancreatic Cancer is asymptomatic in early stages, a majority of patients are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed until advanced stages of the disease. Surgery is no longer effective at this stage of the disease, leaving a large population with limited treatment options.
About Orphan Drug Designation (ODD)
The orphan drug designation provides OBI Pharma with potential benefits, including market exclusivity upon regulatory approval if received, exemption of FDA application fees, and tax credits for qualified clinical trials. The FDA’s Office of Orphan Drug Products grants orphan status to support development of medicines for rare diseases or conditions that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S.
OBI-999 is a novel first-in-class Antibody Drug Conjugate (ADC) with a proprietary linker technology that provides a consistent Drug-to-Antibody ratio (DAR) for cancer treatment that is based on Globo H, an antigen expressed in up to 15 epithelial cancers. OBI-999 uses a Globo H antibody to target cancer cells of high Globo H expression. By releasing a small molecule chemotherapeutic drug through the specificity of the antibody, it directly deploys cytotoxic therapy at the targeted cancer cells. OBI-999 is currently in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04084366) to test its safety and efficacy as an oncology ADC therapy. In pre-clinical xenograft animal models in multiple tumor types (pancreatic, lung, gastric, and breast), OBI-999 has demonstrated profound tumor shrinkage at various doses. In pre-clinical single and repeated dose toxicology studies, OBI-999 was well-tolerated, and achieved a favorable safety margin which warrants further clinical development. OBI Pharma owns global rights to OBI-999.
About OBI Pharma
OBI Pharma, Inc., is a Taiwan biopharmaceutical company that was established in 2002. Its mission is to develop and license novel therapeutic agents for unmet medical needs against cancer targets such as Globo Series (including Globo H), AKR1C3, and other promising targets.
The company’s novel first-in-class immuno-oncology portfolio against Globo Series includes: Adagloxad Simolenin (formerly OBI-822), a Globo Series active immunotherapy vaccine; OBI-888 (Globo H mAb) and OBI-999 (Globo H ADC). The company’s novel first-in-class AKR1C3 targeted therapy is OBI-3424 (small-molecule prodrug) that selectively releases a potent DNA alkylating agent in the presence of the aldo-keto reductase 1c3 (AKR1C3) enzyme. Additional information can be found at www.obipharma.com.
Statements included in this press release that are not a description of historical facts are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about future clinical trials, results and the timing of such trials and results. Such risk factors are identified and discussed from time to time in OBI Pharma’s reports and presentations, including OBI Pharma’s filings with the Taiwan Securities and Futures Bureau.
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