REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Aug. 28, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:OMED), announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has removed the partial clinical hold on enrollment in the company's vantictumab (anti-Fzd7, OMP-18R5) Phase 1 clinical trials. Vantictumab is being studied in combination with standard-of-care chemotherapy in three Phase 1b clinical trials in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), advanced HER2-negative breast cancer and advanced pancreatic cancer. Enrollment and dosing of new patients is expected to resume within the next few weeks as the study sites' institutional review boards (IRBs) receive and approve the revised trial protocols. "We are pleased by the FDA's action to allow the resumption of enrollment in the vantictumab clinical trials," said Jakob Dupont, MD, OncoMed's Chief Medical Officer. "Patient safety is our top priority. The revised protocols were developed with input from the vantictumab clinical investigators and academic bone experts and are intended to mitigate the risks of future adverse events as we seek an optimal efficacious dose to take forward in the development of this first-in-class WNT pathway inhibitor." The partial clinical hold occurred on July 1, 2014 following the company's voluntary halt to its Wnt pathway programs due to observed on-target mild-to-moderate bone-related adverse events. The FDA removed the partial clinical hold to permit the enrollment of vantictumab clinical trials following its review of a substantial clinical safety and efficacy data package and revised study protocols submitted by the company. The amendments for the Phase 1b combination trials include modified dosing regimens, risk mitigation measures, such as increased monitoring and bone protection strategies, and modified enrollment criteria. "The diligence and dedication of OncoMed's clinical development team to temporarily halt the vantictumab studies and submit a comprehensive response to the FDA has led to a prompt action by the agency," said Paul J. Hastings, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of OncoMed. "We look forward to proceeding with the vantictumab Phase 1b clinical studies, and to the potential opt in by our partner Bayer based on data from these trials, to realize the future potential of this novel first-in-class WNT pathway inhibitor."
About Vantictumab (anti-Fzd7, OMP-18R5)Vantictumab is a first-in-class antibody that has shown broad anti-cancer stem cell and anti-tumor activity in patient-derived xenograft tumor models. Vantictumab inhibits a key signaling pathway in cancer, the Wnt pathway. Specifically, vantictumab selectively targets Frizzled receptors, which are activators of Wnt signaling. Although vantictumab was originally identified by binding to Frizzled7, the antibody selectively targets five different Frizzled receptors. OncoMed is currently completing a Phase 1a study of vantictumab in patients with advanced solid tumors. Preliminary data from this clinical trial were presented at the European Cancer Conference (ECC 2013) in September 2013 in Amsterdam, NL. Biomarker data for this Phase 1a trial were presented at the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics in Boston, MA, in October 2013. Vantictumab is now being tested in combination with standard-of-care chemotherapy in three Phase 1b clinical trials in: 1) advanced NSCLC (vantictumab + docetaxel); 2) advanced HER2-negative breast cancer (vantictumab + paclitaxel); and 3) advanced pancreatic cancer (vantictumab + gemcitabine + Abraxane ®). Vantictumab is part of OncoMed's collaboration with Bayer Pharma AG. About OncoMed Pharmaceuticals OncoMed Pharmaceuticals is a clinical-stage company focused on discovering and developing novel therapeutics targeting cancer stem cells (CSCs). OncoMed has five anti-cancer product candidates in clinical development, including demcizumab (anti-DLL4, OMP-21M18), tarextumab (anti-Notch2/3, OMP-59R5), anti-Notch1 (OMP-52M51), vantictumab (anti-FZD7, OMP-18R5), and ipafricept (FZD8-Fc, OMP-54F28), 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 (OMP-305B83) and anti-RSPO3 (OMP-131R10), with Investigational New Drug filings planned for late 2014 or early 2015. OncoMed is also pursuing discovery of additional novel anti-CSC and cancer immunotherapy 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 ability of OncoMed to advance vantictumab in clinical development; the acceptability of the amended vantictumab protocols by the institutional review boards; OncoMed's ability to resume enrollment and dosing of patients in the Phase 1b trials for vantictumab; the timing of resumption of enrollment and dosing in the vantictumab Phase 1b trials; the ability of the revised protocols to mitigate the risks of future adverse events in clinical trials for vantictumab; the potential of vantictumab to impact treatment and the clinical outcome of patients with cancer; the potential for Bayer to exercise their option on the vantictumab program; and the timing of Investigational New Drug filings for OncoMed's anti-DLL4/anti-VEGF bispecific and anti-RSPO3 antibodies. 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 Celgene, GSK and Bayer, 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 Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2013, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on March 18, 2014, OncoMed's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended March 31, 2014, filed with the SEC on May 8, 2014, and OncoMed's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended June 30, 2014, filed with the SEC on August 7, 2014.
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