XOMA Corp (NASDAQ:XOMA), a leader in the discovery and development of therapeutic antibodies, announced XOMA 358, a fully human allosteric monoclonal antibody that reduces both the binding of insulin to its receptor and downstream insulin signaling, has been granted Orphan Drug Designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of congenital hyperinsulinism (HI).

“The orphan drug designation for XOMA 358 recognizes its potential to address a significant unmet medical need for patients with congenital hyperinsulinism. Patients with hyperinsulinism, a rare and devastating disease, secrete inappropriate and excessive insulin, which cause dangerously low blood sugar levels that can lead to brain damage or, in rare cases, death. Currently options to manage many of these patients are limited to continuous ingestion of glucose or pancreatectomy,” said Paul Rubin, M.D., Senior Vice President, Research and Development, and Chief Medical Officer at XOMA. “We are developing XOMA 358 as a first-in-class therapeutic for conditions of hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia. We recently completed a positive Phase 1 study, results of which suggest XOMA 358 is active against the insulin receptor and shows potential in treating patients who experience an endogenous over-production of insulin. Congenital hyperinsulinism is one of the indications we are considering for a Phase 2 study, which we expect to initiate later this year.”

Orphan drug designation is granted by the FDA Office of Orphan Products Development (OOPD) to novel drugs or biologics that treat a rare disease or condition affecting fewer than 200,000 patients in the United States. The designation provides the drug developer with a seven-year period of U.S. marketing exclusivity, as well as tax credits for clinical research costs, the ability to apply for annual grant funding, clinical research trial design assistance, and waiver of Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) filing fees. The OOPD also works on rare disease issues with the medical and research communities, professional organizations, academia, governmental agencies, industry, and rare disease patient groups. (Original Source)

Shares of Xoma closed yesterday at $3.68 . XOMA has a 1-year high of $5.95 and a 1-year low of $2.92. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $3.45 and its 200-day moving average is $3.74.

On the ratings front, Xoma has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on May 28, Wedbush analyst Liana Moussatos reiterated a Buy rating on XOMA, with a price target of $17, which represents a potential upside of 362.0% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on May 5, Credit Suisse’s Jason Kantor assigned a Hold rating to the stock and has a price target of $5.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Liana Moussatos and Jason Kantor have a total average return of 34.1% and 37.8% respectively. Moussatos has a success rate of 52.9% and is ranked #32 out of 3629 analysts, while Kantor has a success rate of 61.8% and is ranked #60.

XOMA Corpdiscovers and develops antibody-based therapeutics. Several of its antibodies have properties due to their interaction at allosteric sites on specific protein rather than the orthosteric, or active sites.