The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Rare Pediatric Disease Designation (RPDD) for Orphagen Pharmaceuticals’ OR-449 for the treatment of pediatric adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC).
OR-449 is a selective, first-in-class, potent and orally bioavailable small molecule antagonist to steroidogenic factor-1 (SF-1 or NR5A1), an orphan nuclear receptor and transcription factor that is essential for the growth and development of the adrenal gland. Orphagen is developing OR-449 for both the adult and pediatric forms of ACC as well as other cancers known to express a high level of SF-1.
“We are gratified that OR-449 has received an RPDD from the FDA. We currently plan to file an Investigational New Drug (IND) application with the FDA later this year to support initiation of a Phase 1 clinical trial,” said Orphagen CEO, Scott Thacher, Ph.D. “We speak to clinicians regularly who remind us of the urgent need for an improved therapy for patients with ACC, and this drives our commitment to the clinical development of OR-449, our first internal program to reach this stage.”
ACC is a rare and aggressive cancer of the adrenal gland. Surgical removal of an affected adrenal gland is effective treatment if the tumor has not metastasized. Once an ACC tumor becomes metastatic, as it does for most patients, it is difficult to control and five-year survival in both adult and pediatric patients with metastatic disease is low, about 10-20%.
The estimated annual incidence of ACC in the U.S. is 600 patients/year. In clinical practice, SF-1 is widely used as a marker for ACC, and it is recognized as a potential therapeutic target for both adult and pediatric ACC. SF-1 is commonly amplified at the gene level in pediatric ACC, and SF-1 is recognized as a cell lineage marker in the FDA’s Pediatric Cancer Target List.