OncoMed's Stocks Slip As Cancer Trial Gets Pulled

Pharmaceutical Investing
Pharmaceutical Investing

The company’s share price took a 40 percent hit following its announcement that its midstage pancreatic cancer trial missed its primary endpoint.

It’s been a rough start to the week for OncoMed Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:OMED). On Monday (April 10), the company announced its major pancreatic cancer trials failed to show any improvements compared to other current treatments.
The company stated it will be shutting down its Phase 2 trial seeking to treat pancreatic cancer with a pharmaceutical combination of demcizumab, Abraxane and gemcitabine. Patients in the study had been untreated before and were afflicted with widespread pancreatic cancer.
“Based on the lack of benefit over standard-of-care, which performed remarkably well, we will be discontinuing this trial,” Paul J. Hastings,  CEO of OncoMed said in the release. “We will also discontinue any additional enrollment in our other ongoing demcizumab trials and conduct analyses of the data from those trials as planned.”

As noted in the press release, the trial failed to meet the primary endpoint of progression-free survival.
“While the interim median overall survival was 13.2 months in the pooled demcizumab arms, the interim median overall survival of Abraxane plus gemcitabine was not reached at the time of these analyses,” the announcement reads.
The trial had originally enrolled 207 patients that were placed into three separate group. The first group would receive standard of care plus one course of demcizumab. The second would get a standard of care plus demcizumab followed by a second course of demcizumab after a 98-day wash-out period. Finally, the third group would receive a standard of care plus placebo.
On that note, this wasn’t the only bad news OncoMed delivered to its investors on Monday.
In a separate announcement, the company stated that Bayer Pharma (OTCPINK:BAYRY) will be dropping two of  OncoMed’s drug candidates, vantictumab and ipafricept, due to “strategic reasons.”
Hastings said in the release that despite losing the collaboration with Bayer, the company was happy to maintain worldwide rights for the two drugs.
“Under our collaboration with Bayer, we have received over $90 million in upfront and milestone payments that have fully funded the development of vantictumab and ipafricept,” Hastings continued. “While we had looked forward to collaborating with the Bayer team on the late-stage development of these biotherapeutics, we are very pleased to have worldwide rights to two promising Phase 2-ready assets.”
Following the two announcements, the company’s shares have taken a massive nosedive. At the close of trading on Friday, OncoMed’s shares were trading at  $8.76. As of 2:25 p.m. EST on Monday, the company’s shares dropped to $5.65–a loss of 36.2 percent. Year to date the company’s share price has tumbled by 26.72 percent.
Indeed, the combination of the news doesn’t bode well for OncoMed or its stock price–at least for the time being. The company’s Phase 2 clinical trials should be providing results later this year, which may be the kick OncoMed’s share price needs.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
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