Wed, Feb 26, 2014 - Page 13 News List

OBI Pharma to start posting revenue

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

Drug maker OBI Pharma Inc (台灣浩鼎) yesterday said that it will start generating revenue this year, driven by the planned launch of its DIFCID antibiotic in Taiwan by the end of the second quarter.

The company has failed to post revenue since 2011, before its started trading its shares on the Emerging Stock Market in 2012.

“We are currently finalizing talks with the National Health Insurance Administration concerning drug prices, as well as with our suppliers regarding materials prices,” general manager Amy Huang (黃秀美) said.

However, Huang said that the market for DIFCID in Taiwan is small because antibiotics are not overused in the nation and it is not in need of new kinds of antibiotics.

The company could continue its loss-making streak this year, since it is expected to spend between NT$600 million and NT$700 million (US$19.77 million and US$49 million) on research and development. OBI Pharma said that most of the amount will be used to finance clinical trials for its drugs.

In the first half of last year, the company spent NT$177.82 million on research and development, according to its stock exchange filing.

Over the same period, OBI Pharma reported NT$202.47 million in losses, an increase from the NT$101.03 million in losses it posted a year ago that was the result of more spending on research and development, its filing showed.

The construction of Amaran Biotechnology Inc’s (潤雅生技) new factory in the Hsinchu Biomedical Science Park (新竹生醫園區) will be operational at the end of this year after the factory receives Good Manufacturing Practice its (GMP) certificate from the government, Huang said, adding that the factory will make botox for OBI Pharma.

According to Huang, the company will complete data collection for phase-three clinical trails for OBI-822, which is used to treat breast cancer, in Taiwan by the end of June.

The company plans to file for a permit to sell OBI-822 in Taiwan in 2016 and in the US in 2018, it said.

The firm is to launch the cancer drug in the US, Taiwan and China on its own, but is seeking partners to sell the medication in Europe and Japan, it said.

OBI Pharma also acquired a new monoclonal antibody to treat cancer last year from Academia Sinica, Huang said, adding that the drug is in the pre-clinical trial stage.

It also has plans to shift to the GRETAI Securities Market by the end of this year.

OBI Pharma stock fell 1.51 percent to NT$227.94 yesterday on the Emerging Stock Market.

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