6alpha-ethyl-chenodeoxycholic acid


On 27 July 2010, orphan designation (EU/3/10/753) was granted by the European Commission to Intercept Pharma, Italy, for 6alpha-ethyl-chenodeoxycholic acid (also known as obeticholic acid) for treatment of primary biliary cirrhosis.

The name of the sponsor was corrected to Intercept Italia S.R.L in May 2014.

6alpha-ethyl-chenodeoxycholic acid has been authorised in the EU as Ocaliva since 12 December 2016.

The sponsorship was transferred to Intercept Pharma International Limited, Ireland in April 2019.

Key facts

Active substance
6alpha-ethyl-chenodeoxycholic acid
Medicine name
Intented use
Treatment of primary biliary cirrhosis
Date of designation
Orphan designation status
EU designation number

Review of designation

On 14 October 2016, the Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products (COMP) completed its review of the designation EU/3/10/753 for Ocaliva (obeticholic acid1) as an orphan medicinal product for the treatment of primary biliary cirrhosis. The COMP assessed whether, at the time of marketing authorisation, the medicinal product still met the criteria for orphan designation. The Committee looked at the seriousness and prevalence of the condition, and the existence of other methods of treatment. As other methods of treatment are authorised in the European Union (EU), the COMP also considered whether the medicine is of significant benefit to patients with primary biliary cirrhosis. The COMP recommended that the orphan designation of the medicine be maintained2.

1Previously known as 6alpha-ethyl-chenodeoxycholic acid.

2The maintenance of the orphan designation at time of marketing authorisation would, except in specific situations, give an orphan medicinal product 10 years of market exclusivity in the EU. This means that in the 10 years after its authorisation similar products with the same therapeutic indication cannot be placed on the market.

Sponsor's contact details

Intercept Pharma International Limited
Ormond Building
31-36 Ormond Quay Street
Dublin 7
Tel. +353 1 920 1253

Patients' organisations

For contact details of patients’ organisations whose activities are targeted at rare diseases, see:

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