Analysis: OncoMed deal puts a premium on preclinical

OncoMed's $1.4 billion antibody development pact with GlaxoSmithKline is dissected by the San Francisco Business Times, which highlights just how unusual it is for preclinical programs to earn that kind of potential reward. Researchers at OncoMed have been focused on developing antibodies that can target cancer stem cells, greatly increasing the chance that a patient's cancer can be knocked out without a recurrence.

"There was speculation that Big Pharma would not do large deals like this for preclinical candidates," says attorney Alan Mendelson, who represented OncoMed during the negotiations. "I think the OncoMed deal is evidence that, for the right technology, with the prospect of multiple product opportunities, the farsighted pharmaceutical companies are doing some preclinical transactions."

- read the report from the San Francisco Business Times