OncoMed pairs up with Celgene for $177.25M

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OncoMed pairs up with Celgene for $177.25 million
OncoMed pairs up with Celgene for $177.25 million

Celgene is coughing up $177.25 million—$22.25 million in stock—for a piece of OncoMed's cancer-fighting potential. The companies announced the deal in a joint statement Tuesday and said the commercialization and development agreement covers up to six anti-cancer stem-cell candidates from OncoMed's pipeline, including demcizumab, aka OMP-21M18, Anti-DLL4.

Jefferies analyst Thomas Wei's Wednesday research note indicated a complete upside for OncoMed, including a financial endorsement for demcizumab, which he writes “has been regarded in a mixed way by investors given cardiovascular toxicity.” The FDA lifted a partial clinical trial hold on the drug in January 2013 after OncoMed submitted safety and efficacy results from four Phase I studies.

The company is currently recruiting patients for four demcizumab clinical trials, which include non-squamous non-small lung cancer, locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer when used either with or without Abraxane, and platinum-resistant ovarian cancer when used with paclitaxel.

The collaboration gives OncoMed 50% of US profits for up to five products, and will lead to royalties in other territories. OncoMed will cover one-third of demcizumab's development costs and is eligible to collect around $790 million in demcizumab Phase-II milestone payments. The five additional entities could bring in $2.2 billion if it gets the chance to hit all of its options, developmental and regulatory approval payments.

The company is accustomed to partnering, and has development deals with Bayer and GlaxoSmithKline.

The Celgene overlap is that the now-joint demcizumab is being tested with the company's solid-tumor drug Abraxane, and could widen the company's presence in markets like pancreatic cancer and create footholds in ovarian and lung cancers, among others.

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