OBI Pharma Granted FDA Orphan Drug Designation for OBI-888 for the Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer

First Orphan Drug Designation for OBI-888, a novel first-in-class Monoclonal Antibody targeting Globo H, a glycolipid antigen found on multiple tumor types.

TAIPEI, Taiwan, November 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — 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-888 for the treatment of Pancreatic Cancer. OBI-888 is a first in class monoclonal antibody cancer immunotherapy targeting Globo H, a glycolipid antigen.

A Phase 1 study of OBI-888 has commenced enrollment at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in patients with locally advanced or metastatic solid tumors, potentially including Pancreatic, Breast, Gastric, Esophageal, Colorectal and Lung Cancers.

Amy Huang, General Manager of OBI Pharma, noted, “The orphan drug designation for  OBI-888 by the FDA is encouraging and is a significant step in the development of this novel monoclonal antibody drug candidate targeting Globo H. In addition to targeting other solid tumors, OBI-888 will be evaluated for the treatment of pancreatic cancer, a disease with very limited treatment options. OBI will continue our utmost efforts to develop innovative therapies for people living with cancer.”

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.

 About OBI-888

OBI-888 is a novel first-in-class monoclonal antibody, which selectively targets Globo H, an antigen expressed in up to 15 epithelial cancers. This Globo H targeting antibody has been shown to induce tumor-killing via antibody dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC), antibody-dependent cell-mediated phagocytosis (ADCP) and complement dependent cytotoxicity (CDC).

OBI-888 is also anti-immunosuppressive and anti-angiogenic. In pre-clinical xenograft animal models in multiple tumor types (pancreatic, colon, lung, and breast), OBI-888 has demonstrated tumor shrinkage at various doses. In pre-clinical single and repeated dose toxicology studies, OBI-888 was well-tolerated, and no adverse effect was found in all the doses tested.

OBI Pharma owns global rights to OBI-888.

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

Forward-Looking Statements

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.



Max Chan
OBI Pharma, Inc.
+886 (2) 2786-6589 ext. 312