REDWOOD CITY, Calif. and SAN DIEGO, April 8, 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 data from an oral presentation and eight poster presentations at the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA April 5-9, 2014. The research presented at AACR highlight OncoMed's drug discovery platforms along with preclinical and biomarker discoveries on its clinical-stage product candidates and several emerging product candidates. A brief summary of each presentation is provided below. "The nine presentations at this year's AACR Annual Meeting demonstrate the breadth and depth of OncoMed's preclinical research and discovery work. Encompassing many of our clinical- and preclinical- stage candidates, data being presented this week highlight the potent anti-cancer stem cell activity seen across our portfolio, the opportunities to combine our compounds with standard-of-care, and our ongoing biomarker identification efforts being applied to programs in clinical development," said John Lewicki, PhD, Executive Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer. Oral Presentation Timothy Hoey, PhD, OncoMed's Senior Vice President of Cancer Biology, gave an oral presentation entitled "Using PDX models for anticancer drug screening" as part of a Methods Workshop on Applications of Patient Derived Xenograft Models to Translational Cancer Research. Dr. Hoey discussed the central role of OncoMed's patient-derived tumor bank to evaluate anti-tumor and anti-cancer stem cell activity of its novel drug candidates; provide insights into potential clinical indications and dosing regimens; and generate and evaluate predictive biomarker hypotheses for application in clinical trials. OncoMed has developed a large bank of patient-derived tumors, comprising more than 200 tumors from many different tumor types, including the detailed phenotypic, functional and genomic characterization of each tumor. Poster Presentations Clinical-stage Programs Belinda Cancilla, PhD, Director, presented abstract #910, "NOTCH3 expression is predictive of efficacy in pancreas tumor models treated with OMP-59R5, a monoclonal antibody targeting the NOTCH2 and NOTCH3 receptors," in the Predictive Biomarker 1 Poster Session. Expression of NOTCH3 mRNA by next-generation sequencing in pancreatic tumor models correlated with response to OncoMed's anti-Notch2/3 antibody, OMP-59R5, where tumor efficacy correlated with NOTCH3 biomarker levels. A Research Use Only (RUO) qPCR assay for quantifying NOTCH3 mRNA expression using Formalin-Fixed, Paraffin-Embedded (FFPE) samples and an immunohistochemistry (IHC) assay for measuring levels of NOTCH3 protein in tumor samples have been developed. These assays will be used to correlate NOTCH3 levels with patient response in ALPINE, a Phase 1b/2 clinical trial of OMP-59R5 in first-line advanced pancreatic cancer patients. OMP-59R5 is part of OncoMed's collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).