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OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (OMED - Snapshot Report) recently initiated a phase Ib/II study on its oncology candidate, demcizumab. Demcizumab is being developed for the treatment of patients suffering from ovarian cancer.

The phase Ib/II study will evaluate demcizumab in combination with Taxol (paclitaxel) in patients suffering from platinum-resistant ovarian cancer, fallopian tube cancer or primary peritoneal cancer. OncoMed will proceed with the phase II study on the candidate after a phase Ib safety study is concluded.

The phase II study will be evaluating progression-free survival and response rate of the patients treated with the demcizumab and Taxol combination. The study will also determine overall survival, biomarker endpoints and safety of the candidate.

We note that OncoMed has conducted three more phase Ib studies on demcizumab earlier in combination with chemotherapy regimens in patients suffering from first-line pancreatic cancer, first- or second-line colorectal cancer and first-line non-small cell lung cancer. The phase Ib studies in patients suffering from pancreatic cancer and non-small cell lung cancer are enrolling patients currently.

We are encouraged by the company’s progress with its oncology candidate. Meanwhile, the oncology market looks extremely competitive with the presence of big companies like Roche (RHHBY - Analyst Report) and Bayer (BAYRY - Analyst Report).

Moreover, most of the candidates at OncoMed are in early stages of development. We expect investor focus to remain on the company’s pipeline going forward.

OncoMed currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other stocks, such as Actelion Ltd. (ALIOF), are comparatively better positioned with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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