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Lonza and OncoMed Pharmaceuticals sign a process development and manufacturing collaboration and multi-product GS license agreement

23 October 2012  •  Source: Lonza

Lonza, a global leader in biological manufacturing and OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to improving cancer treatment, announced today an agreement for the development and manufacture of OncoMed’s pipeline of anti-cancer stem cell therapeutics. Under the agreement, Lonza will produce material at its mammalian manufacturing facility in Slough, UK. The multi-product GS System™ License provides access to Lonza’s GS Gene Expression System™ and Version 8 Media and Feeds Manufacturing Platform.

OncoMed’s pipeline is focused on the development of novel monoclonal antibodies that target cancer stem cells. The Process Development and Manufacturing Collaboration includes, but is not limited to, the following OncoMed projects:

  • Demcizumab (Anti-DLL4, OMP-21M18), currently in Phase 1b
  • Anti-Notch 2/3 (OMP-59R5), currently in Phase 1b/2
  • Anti-Fzd7 (OMP-18R5), currently in Phase 1
  • Anti-Notch1 (OMP-52M51), currently in Phase 1
  • Anti-DLL4/VEGF Bi-Specific, currently in preclinical testing

“OncoMed’s pipeline is a great example of how emerging biotech companies are successfully innovating in the oncology field,” said Dr. Stephan Kutzer, COO Lonza Custom Manufacturing. “This multi-product contract and GS license agreement demonstrate Lonza’s ability to offer world-class expression platforms in combination with secure manufacturing capabilities for the complete product lifecycle.”

Michael Mulkerrin, Vice President, Process Development, OncoMed, said, “We are pleased to continue to deepen our relationship with Lonza. Over the years, Lonza’s expertise has been invaluable in helping us rapidly advance our growing anti-cancer stem cell pipeline.”

About Cancer Stem Cells

Cancer stem cells, or CSCs, are the subpopulation of cells in a tumor responsible for driving growth and metastasis of the tumor. CSCs, also known as tumor-initiating cells, exhibit certain properties which include the capacity to divide and give rise to new CSCs via a process called self-renewal and the capacity to differentiate or change into the other cells that form the bulk of the tumor. Common cancer drugs target bulk tumor cells but have limited impact on CSCs, thereby providing a path for recurrence of the tumor. OncoMed’s product candidates target CSCs by blocking self-renewal and driving differentiation of CSCs toward a non-tumorigenic state, and also impact bulk tumor cells. OncoMed believes that its product candidates are distinct from the current generations of chemotherapies and targeted therapies, and have the potential to significantly impact cancer treatment and the clinical outcome of patients with cancer.