REDWOOD CITY, Calif., April 2, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:OMED), a clinical-stage company developing novel therapeutics that target cancer stem cells (CSCs), or tumor-initiating cells, announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Eli Lilly and Company. Demcizumab, OncoMed's anti-DLL4 antibody, is being tested in combination with Lilly's Alimta® (pemetrexed for injection) and carboplatin for the treatment of first-line advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Under the terms of this agreement, Lilly will provide clinical supply of Alimta for OncoMed's ongoing Phase 2 DENALI trial.
"This agreement with Lilly strengthens our efforts to investigate demcizumab as a key component alongside Alimta and platinum chemotherapy for the initial treatment of locally advanced or metastatic non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer," said Paul J. Hastings, OncoMed's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "These data will add to the growing body of research to determine whether certain three-drug combinations may help improve patient outcomes."
OncoMed initiated enrollment in the randomized Phase 2 DENALI trial in January 2015 to test the efficacy and safety of demcizumab in combination with Alimta and carboplatin. Alimta is approved as an initial treatment in combination with cisplatin for locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC for patients with non-squamous histology. The DENALI trial is expected to enroll approximately 200 patients with first-line metastatic Stage IV non-squamous NSCLC whose tumors do not have an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) or anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) mutation.
About Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer (both small cell and non-small cell) is the second most common cancer in men and women and is by far the leading cause of cancer death. Non-small cell lung cancer is expected to make up the vast majority of the 224,210 newly diagnosed cancer cases and the 159,260 cancer deaths estimated to occur in the U.S. in 20141. Forty percent of patients with newly diagnosed non-small cell lung cancer have Stage IV disease.
About Demcizumab (anti-DLL4, OMP-21M18)
Demcizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody that inhibits Delta-Like Ligand 4 (DLL4) in the Notch signaling pathway. Based on preclinical studies, demcizumab appears to have a multi-pronged mechanism of action: halting cancer stem cell growth and reducing CSC frequency, disrupting angiogenesis in the tumor and potentially augmenting anti-tumor immune response.
OncoMed has completed enrollment of two Phase 1b clinical studies of demcizumab plus standard-of-care in patients with first-line advanced pancreatic cancer and extensive stage non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer. A Phase 1b/2 trial of demcizumab and paclitaxel in patients with platinum-resistant ovarian cancer is also ongoing. Data of the Phase 1b studies of demcizumab in pancreatic cancer and NSCLC were presented in September 2014 at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress in Madrid, Spain. These data showed that demcizumab was well tolerated in combination with standard-of-care therapies and use of a truncated dosing regimen appeared to successfully mitigate risks of moderate-to-severe cardiopulmonary toxicities. In both Phase 1b studies, demcizumab demonstrated encouraging anti-tumor response rates.
Demcizumab is part of OncoMed's collaboration with Celgene Corporation.
About ALIMTA® (pemetrexed for injection)
In 2004, ALIMTA received consecutive approvals: it was the first agent to be approved in combination with cisplatin as a treatment for patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma, whose disease is unresectable or who are otherwise not candidates for curative surgery, and then as a single agent for the second-line treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC after prior chemotherapy treatment.
In 2008, ALIMTA, in combination with cisplatin, was approved as a first-line treatment for locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC for patients with nonsquamous histology. At the time of the first-line approval, the FDA also approved a change to the second-line indication. ALIMTA is now indicated as a single agent for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic, nonsquamous NSCLC after prior chemotherapy.
In 2009, ALIMTA was approved as a maintenance therapy for locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC, specifically for patients with a nonsquamous histology whose disease has not progressed after four cycles of platinum-based first-line chemotherapy.
In 2012, ALIMTA was approved by the FDA as a continuation maintenance therapy for locally-advanced or metastatic NSCLC, following first-line therapy with ALIMTA plus cisplatin in patients with a nonsquamous histology.
ALIMTA is not indicated for treatment of patients with squamous cell NSCLC. Myelosuppression is usually the dose-limiting toxicity with ALIMTA therapy.
Important Safety Information for ALIMTA® (pemetrexed for injection)
What is the most important information that I should know about ALIMTA?
ALIMTA can suppress bone marrow function, which may cause low blood cell counts.
ALIMTA may not be appropriate for some patients.
If you are allergic to ALIMTA, tell your doctor because you should not receive it.
If you have liver or kidney problems, be sure to tell your doctor. Your dose of ALIMTA may have to be changed, or ALIMTA may not be right for you.
It is very important to take the following medications prior to and during your treatment with ALIMTA to lower your chances of harmful side effects:
- You must take folic acid every day by mouth beginning 7 days before your first dose of ALIMTA. You must keep taking folic acid every day during the time you are being treated with ALIMTA, and every day for 21 days after you receive your last dose of ALIMTA.
- Your doctor will give you vitamin B12 injections while you are getting treatment with ALIMTA. You will get your first vitamin B12 injection one week before your first dose of ALIMTA, and then about every 9 weeks during treatment.
- Your doctor will prescribe a medicine called a "corticosteroid" which you must take the day before, the day of, and the day after each treatment with ALIMTA to reduce rash.
You will have regular blood tests before and during your treatment with ALIMTA. Your doctor may adjust your dose of ALIMTA or delay your treatment based on the results of your blood test and on your general condition.
What should I tell my doctor before receiving ALIMTA?
If you think you are pregnant, are planning to become pregnant, or are nursing, please tell your healthcare team. ALIMTA may harm your unborn or nursing baby. Your physician may advise you to use effective contraception (birth control) to prevent pregnancy while you are being treated with ALIMTA.
Tell your doctor if you are taking other medicines, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. ALIMTA and other medicines may affect each other, causing serious side effects. Especially, tell your doctor if you are taking medicines called "nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs" (NSAIDs) for pain or swelling.
What are the possible side effects of ALIMTA?
Most patients taking ALIMTA will have side effects. Sometimes it is not always possible to tell whether ALIMTA, another medicine, or the cancer itself is causing these side effects.
Call your doctor right away if you have a fever, chills, diarrhea, or mouth sores. These symptoms could mean you have an infection, which may be severe and could lead to death.
The most common side effects of ALIMTA when given alone or in combination with cisplatin are:
- Stomach upset, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation. You can obtain medicines to help control some of these symptoms. Call your doctor if you get any of these symptoms.
- Low blood cell counts:
- Low red blood cells. Low red blood cells may make you feel tired, get tired easily, appear pale, and become short of breath.
- Low white blood cells. Low white blood cells may give you a greater chance for infection. If you have a fever (temperature above 100.4°F) or other signs of infection, call your doctor right away.
- Low platelets. Low platelets give you a greater chance for bleeding. Your doctor will do blood tests to check your blood counts before and during treatment with ALIMTA.
- Tiredness. You may feel tired or weak for a few days after your ALIMTA treatments. If you have severe weakness or tiredness, call your doctor.
- Redness or sores in your mouth, throat, on your lips or in the tube that connects your throat and stomach (esophagus). You may get redness or sores in your mouth, throat, on your lips, or in your esophagus (stomatitis, pharyngitis, esophagitis) or you may feel pain or have difficulty when drinking or swallowing food. These symptoms may happen a few days after ALIMTA treatment. Talk with your doctor if you get any of these symptoms.
- Loss of appetite. You may lose your appetite and lose weight during your treatment. Talk to your doctor if this is a problem for you.
- Rash. You may get a rash or itching during treatment. These reactions usually appear between treatments with ALIMTA and usually go away before the next treatment. Skin reactions or rashes that include blistering or peeling may be severe and could lead to death. Call your doctor if you have any of these symptoms.
Talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about any side effect that bothers you or that doesn't go away.
These are not all the side effects of ALIMTA. For more information, ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.
How is ALIMTA given?
ALIMTA is slowly infused (injected) into a vein. The injection or infusion will last about 10 minutes. You will usually receive ALIMTA once every 21 days (3 weeks).
For more information about all of the side effects of ALIMTA, please talk with your healthcare team, see the Patient Prescribing Information, http://pi.lilly.com/us/alimta-ppi.pdf, Prescribing Information, http://pi.lilly.com/us/alimta-pi.pdf, visit www.ALIMTA.com, or call 1-800-545-5979.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
About OncoMed Pharmaceuticals
OncoMed Pharmaceuticals is a clinical-stage company focused on discovering and developing novel therapeutics targeting cancer stem cells (CSCs). OncoMed has six anti-cancer product candidates in clinical development, the most advanced of which are in randomized Phase 2 clinical trials. Demcizumab (anti-DLL4, OMP-21M18), tarextumab (anti-Notch2/3, OMP-59R5), brontictuzumab (anti-Notch1, OMP-52M51), anti-DLL4/VEGF bispecific antibody (OMP-305B83), vantictumab (anti-FZD7, OMP-18R5), and ipafricept (FZD8-Fc, OMP-54F28) each target key cancer stem cell signaling pathways including Notch and Wnt. OncoMed plans to file an Investigational New Drug application in early 2015 for anti-RSPO3 (OMP-131R10), an antibody targeting a third key cancer stem cell signaling pathway called R-spondin-LGR. OncoMed is also pursuing discovery of additional novel anti-CSC and cancer immune-oncology 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.
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 mechanism of action of demcizumab,and the timing of an Investigational New Drug application filing for OncoMed's anti-RSPO3 antibody. 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. 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, 2014, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on March 12, 2015.
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Source:OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, Inc.