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US FDA clears OBI Pharma's IND application for phase I/II study of OBI-3424 targeting AKR1C3 solid tumors

Taipei, Taiwan
Friday, April 20, 2018, 15:00 Hrs  [IST]

OBI Pharma, Inc., a Taiwan biopharma company announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared an investigational new drug (IND) application for a phase I/II study of OBI-3424, a first-in-class DNA alkylating agent that targets cancers that overexpress the aldo-keto reductase 1C3 (AKR1C3) enzyme.

OBI plans to enroll patients with local solid tumors, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and castrate-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). OBI Pharma’s chief medical advisor, Tillman Pearce, M.D., noted, “This clinical trial intends to verify the safety and preliminary activity profile of OBI-3424, a novel first-in-class prodrug of a DNA alkylating cancer therapeutic that is selectively activated by AKR1C3, an enzyme that is overexpressed in a variety of solid and liquid tumors. We are delighted to conduct this first-in-man clinical trial at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute of Ohio State University, two of America’s leading academic oncology research institutions”.

Amy Huang, general manager of OBI Pharma, added, “OBI Pharma is proud to further develop our unique targeted cancer pipeline, including targets like the Globo series and AKR1C3. OBI-3424 enhances OBI’s pipeline in solid and liquid tumors for cancer patients who over-express AKR1C3. OBI is taking a first-step towards testing the safety and initial efficacy of a new class of AKR1C3 targeted therapy. We are excited to develop novel targeted therapeutics in the fight against cancers of unmet need.”

OBI-3424 is a first-in-class novel small-molecule prodrug that selectively targets cancers overexpressing the enzyme aldo-keto reductase 1C3 (AKR1C3), and selectively releases a potent DNA alkylating agent in the presence of the AKR1C3 enzyme. This selective mode of activation distinguishes OBI-3424 from traditional alkylating agents, such as cyclophosphamide and ifosfamide, which are non-selective.

AKR1C3 overexpression has been documented in a number of treatment-resistant and difficult-to-treat cancers including: hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC), castrate-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), and T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). AKR1C3 is highly expressed in up to 15 solid and liquid tumors.

Furthermore, individualized patient selection by staining for AKR1C3 overexpression by immunohistochemistry can be performed based on tumor biopsies or circulating tumor cells to identify patients with other tumor types most likely to respond to treatment with OBI-3424, and thus offering the possibility for a streamlined clinical development strategy.

OBI Pharma holds worldwide rights for OBI-3424 with the exception of the following countries, whose rights are held by Ascenta Pharma: China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Turkey, and India.


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