Targeting Wnt Pathway Inhibits Tumor Growth in Preclinical Models

REDWOOD CITY, CA, USA I July 3, 2012 I OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical-stage company developing novel therapeutics that target cancer stem cells (CSCs), or tumor-initiating cells, today announced that Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) July 2, 2012 PNAS Early Edition has published online OncoMed data demonstrating the potent anti-cancer activity of OMP-18R5, the company’s first Wnt pathway product candidate, in multiple preclinical human tumor models. OMP-18R5 is currently in Phase 1 clinical testing.

“OMP-18R5 is, we believe, the first therapeutic antibody to enter clinical trials that specifically inhibits the Wnt pathway, an important pathway in cancer. Our research published in PNAS suggests that inhibiting the Wnt pathway within tumors has the potential to improve treatment for multiple cancers,” said Austin Gurney, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Molecular and Cellular Biology of OncoMed Pharmaceuticals and a co-author of the paper. “OMP-18R5 has demonstrated the remarkable ability to drive the differentiation of tumor cells in preclinical models. Tumors become less tumorigenic.”

The Wnt/beta-catenin pathway, which signals through the Frizzled (Fzd) receptor family and several co-receptors, has long been implicated in cancer. OncoMed researchers identified a novel therapeutic approach to targeting the Wnt pathway with a monoclonal antibody. OMP-18R5, initially identified by binding to Frizzled 7, interacts with key Fzd receptors through a conserved epitope within the extracellular domain and thereby inhibits canonical Wnt signaling induced by multiple Wnt family members. In xenograft studies with minimally passaged human tumors, OMP-18R5 inhibits the growth of a range of tumor types and exhibits synergistic activity with standard-of-care chemotherapeutic agents. These data are published in current edition of PNAS in an article titled “Wnt Pathway Inhibition via the Targeting of Frizzled Receptors Results in Decreased Growth and Tumorigenicity of Human Tumors.”

Paul Hastings, President and Chief Executive Officer of OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, said, “OMP-18R5 is among a rich pipeline of therapeutic candidates discovered by OncoMed that are now in clinical trials. We look forward to reporting results from our initial trials as this product advances through the clinic.”

About OMP-18R5

OMP-18R5 is a monoclonal antibody optimized to block a key signaling pathway in cancer. Specifically, OMP-18R5 selectively targets Frizzled receptors, activators of Wnt signaling. OMP-18R5 treatment exhibits broad anti-tumor activity in preclinical models. OMP-18R5 is currently in a Phase 1 clinical trial in patients with advanced solid tumors. This trial will assess safety, pharmacokinetics, and provide initial indications of anti-tumor efficacy and the effects of OMP-18R5 on Wnt pathway biomarkers. OMP-18R5 is part of OncoMed’s collaboration with Bayer Pharma AG.

About OncoMed Pharmaceuticals

OncoMed Pharmaceuticals is a clinical-stage company that discovers and develops novel therapeutics targeting cancer stem cells, the cells shown to be capable of driving tumor growth, recurrence and metastasis. OncoMed has advanced three anti-cancer therapeutics into the clinic, demcizumab (OMP-21M18), OMP-59R5, and OMP-18R5, which target key cancer stem cell signaling pathways including Notch and Wnt. In addition, OncoMed’s pipeline includes several novel preclinical product candidates targeting multiple validated cancer stem cell pathways, including the RSPO-LGR pathway. OncoMed has formed strategic alliances with Bayer Pharma AG and GlaxoSmithKline. Privately held, OncoMed’s investors include: US Venture Partners, Latterell Venture Partners, The Vertical Group, Morgenthaler Ventures, Phase4Ventures, Delphi Ventures, Adams Street Partners, De Novo Ventures, Bay Partners and GlaxoSmithKline. Additional information can be found at the company’s website:

SOURCE: OncoMed Pharmaceuticals