OncoMed Pharma files for IPO

Company seeks to raise as much as $115 million in an initial public offering of common stock

Jeffrey Bouley
REDWOOD CITY, Calif.—OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, abiotechnology company working on antibody therapeutics for cancer treatment,filed its papers with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in recentdays to embark on an initial public offering (IPO) with the intent to raise asmuch as $115 million and be listed on he NASDAQ under the symbol OMED. 
 
The filing does not, however, outline how manyshares the company plans to offer nor at what price.
 
 
The company told the SEC in a preliminaryprospectus that Jefferies, Leerink Swann, Piper Jaffray and BMO Capital Marketswere underwriting the IPO and made note of the fact that OncoMed has strategicalliances in place with GlaxoSmithKline and Bayer AG.
 
 
OncoMed was founded in 2004 and, according to itsSEC filing, had an accumulated deficit of $136.6 million as of March 31.OncoMed lost $15 million last year alone, and its only revenue has come from grantsand collaborations with such companies as Bayer and GSK.
 
 
The proceeds of the IPO reportedly would be used toadvance its lead drug, demcizumab (OMP-21M18) and two other drugs (OMP-59R5 andOMP-18R5) into Phase II clinical trials, as well as for the programs with Glaxoand Bayer and for other research and discovery efforts. In addition to thethree drugs heading for the clinic, OncoMed has two others in preclinicaldevelopment.
 
OncoMed's aim is for its monoclonal antibody drugsto target the cancer stem cells that drive tumors to grow and spread, under thetheory that if the stems cells cannot renew themselves, the cancer cannotrecur. OncoMed's three clinical-stage candidates target key cancer stem cellsignaling pathways including Notch and Wnt while preclinical product candidatesalso are aiming at such pathways as RSPO-LGR.
 
 
As OncoMed puts it, "Cancer stem cells, a small,resilient subset of cells found in tumors, have the capacity to self-renew anddifferentiate, leading to tumor initiation and driving tumor growth, recurrenceand metastasis. Also referred to as 'tumor-initiating cells,' these cells werefirst discovered by OncoMed's scientific founders in breast cancer and havesubsequently been identified in many other tumor types, including brain, colon,lung, prostate, and pancreatic cancer. Cancer stem cells appear to bepreferentially resistant to both standard chemotherapy and radiotherapy." 



Jeffrey Bouley

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