REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Feb. 3, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:OMED), a clinical-stage company developing novel therapeutics that target cancer stem cells (CSCs), or tumor-initiating cells, today announced the issuance of its fourth broad U.S. patent relating to antibodies that target the RSPO-LGR cancer stem cell pathway. The new patent, U.S. Patent No. 8,628,774, covers certain methods of treating cancer with antibodies that bind human leucine-rich repeat-containing G protein-coupled receptor (LGR) proteins and either disrupt the binding of such proteins to their ligands, the R-spondin (RSPO) proteins, or disrupt RSPO activation of LGR signaling. RSPO-LGR pathway patents previously granted to OncoMed include U.S. Patent Nos. 8,158,757, 8,158,758 and 8,540,989. OncoMed's broad RSPO-LGR pathway patents stem from patent applications filed after OncoMed scientists made certain key discoveries about the RSPO-LGR pathway several years ago. Since then, OncoMed has identified multiple antibodies targeting the RSPO-LGR pathway and demonstrated the activity of these antibodies in preclinical studies. An Investigational New Drug (IND) filing for anti-RSPO3, OncoMed's first antibody targeting the RSPO-LGR pathway, is planned for late 2014 or early 2015. OncoMed's RSPO-LGR pathway programs are part of OncoMed's recent collaboration with Celgene Corporation. "OncoMed's latest broad RSPO-LGR pathway patent is a great addition to our extensive IP portfolio," said Paul J. Hastings, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of OncoMed. "RSPO-LGR is a potentially important cancer stem cell pathway and our research programs have generated a number of antibodies, including anti-RSPO3, with encouraging anti-CSC preclinical data." About Cancer Stem Cells Cancer stem cells, or CSCs, are the subpopulation of cells in a tumor responsible for driving growth and metastasis of the tumor. CSCs, also known as tumor-initiating cells, exhibit certain properties which include the capacity to divide and give rise to new CSCs via a process called self-renewal and the capacity to differentiate or change into the other cells that form the bulk of the tumor. Common cancer drugs target bulk tumor cells but have limited impact on CSCs, thereby providing a path for recurrence of the tumor. OncoMed's product candidates target CSCs by blocking self-renewal and driving differentiation of CSCs toward a non-tumorigenic state, and also impact bulk tumor cells. OncoMed believes its product candidates are distinct from the current generations of chemotherapies and targeted therapies, and have the potential to significantly impact cancer treatment and the clinical outcome of patients with cancer.
About OncoMed PharmaceuticalsOncoMed Pharmaceuticals is a clinical-stage company focused on discovering and developing novel therapeutics targeting cancer stem cells. OncoMed has five anti-cancer product candidates in clinical development, including demcizumab (Anti-DLL4, OMP-21M18), OMP-59R5 (Anti-Notch2/3), OMP-52M51 (Anti-Notch1), vantictumab (Anti-Fzd7, OMP-18R5), and OMP-54F28 (Fzd8-Fc), which target key cancer stem cell signaling pathways including Notch and Wnt. OncoMed has two other antibodies in preclinical development, Anti-DLL4/Anti-VEGF bispecific and Anti-RSPO3, with Investigational New Drug filings planned for late 2014 or early 2015. OncoMed is also pursuing discovery of additional novel anti-CSC product candidates. OncoMed has formed strategic alliances with Celgene Corporation, Bayer Pharma AG and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Additional information can be found at the company's website: www.oncomed.com . Forward-Looking Statements To the extent that statements contained in this press release are not descriptions of historical facts regarding OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, they are forward-looking statements reflecting the current beliefs and expectations of management made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including OncoMed's expectations regarding the scope, validity, enforceability and duration of patent protection afforded by the referenced patents and OncoMed's other intellectual property; OncoMed's ability to successfully enforce its intellectual property and defend it against challenges by third parties; OncoMed's ability to obtain additional patent protection for antibodies targeting the RSPO-LGR pathway and for its other product candidates in the U.S. and additional countries; the timing of Investigational New Drug filings for OncoMed's product candidates and for OncoMed's Anti-RSPO3 and Anti-DLL4/Anti-VEGF bispecific product candidates, in particular; the potential of OncoMed's product candidates, including antibodies targeting the RSPO-LGR pathway, to significantly impact CSCs, cancer treatment and the clinical outcome of patients with cancer; and the success of clinical trials for OncoMed's product candidates. Such forward-looking statements involve substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause OncoMed's clinical development programs, future results, performance or achievements to differ significantly from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, the uncertainties inherent in the preclinical and clinical development process; the risks and uncertainties of the regulatory approval process; OncoMed's dependence on its collaboration partners, including GSK, Bayer, and Celgene, for the funding of its partnered programs; OncoMed's ability to raise additional capital to support the development of its unpartnered programs; OncoMed's dependence on the development and marketing efforts of its partners for the commercial success of its partnered product candidates; OncoMed's reliance on third parties to conduct certain preclinical studies and all of its clinical trials; OncoMed's reliance on single source third-party contract manufacturing organizations to manufacture and supply its product candidates; OncoMed's ability to validate, develop and obtain regulatory approval for companion diagnostics; OncoMed's ability to achieve market acceptance and commercial success of its product candidates once regulatory approval is achieved; OncoMed's ability to discover, develop and commercialize additional product candidates; the ability of competitors to discover, develop or commercialize competing products more quickly or more successfully; OncoMed's dependence on its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, its Chief Scientific Officer, its Chief Medical Officer and other key executives; risk of third party claims alleging infringement of patents and proprietary rights or seeking to invalidate OncoMed's patents or proprietary rights; and the ability of OncoMed's proprietary rights to protect its technologies and product candidates. OncoMed undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. For a further description of the risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, as well as risks relating to OncoMed's business in general, see OncoMed's Prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on July 18, 2013 and OncoMed's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended September 30, 2013, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 13, 2013.
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