REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Feb. 3, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:OMED), a clinical-stage company developing novel therapeutics that target cancer stem cells (CSCs), or tumor-initiating cells, today announced the issuance of its fourth broad U.S. patent relating to antibodies that target the RSPO-LGR cancer stem cell pathway. The new patent, U.S. Patent No. 8,628,774, covers certain methods of treating cancer with antibodies that bind human leucine-rich repeat-containing G protein-coupled receptor (LGR) proteins and either disrupt the binding of such proteins to their ligands, the R-spondin (RSPO) proteins, or disrupt RSPO activation of LGR signaling. RSPO-LGR pathway patents previously granted to OncoMed include U.S. Patent Nos. 8,158,757, 8,158,758 and 8,540,989.
OncoMed's broad RSPO-LGR pathway patents stem from patent applications filed after OncoMed scientists made certain key discoveries about the RSPO-LGR pathway several years ago. Since then, OncoMed has identified multiple antibodies targeting the RSPO-LGR pathway and demonstrated the activity of these antibodies in preclinical studies. An Investigational New Drug (IND) filing for anti-RSPO3, OncoMed's first antibody targeting the RSPO-LGR pathway, is planned for late 2014 or early 2015. OncoMed's RSPO-LGR pathway programs are part of OncoMed's recent collaboration with Celgene Corporation.
"OncoMed's latest broad RSPO-LGR pathway patent is a great addition to our extensive IP portfolio," said Paul J. Hastings, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of OncoMed. "RSPO-LGR is a potentially important cancer stem cell pathway and our research programs have generated a number of antibodies, including anti-RSPO3, with encouraging anti-CSC preclinical data."