On­coMed shares crushed as Cel­gene-part­nered lead drug flops and Bay­er takes a pass on op­tions

It’s a black day at On­coMed $OMED. A lit­tle more than a year af­ter its num­ber two drug foundered in a Phase II fail­ure, its top drug dem­cizum­ab — part­nered with Cel­gene in a multi­bil­lion-dol­lar deal — has flopped in a Phase II as well. And the biotech fol­lowed up with the news that Bay­er is by­pass­ing a tie-up on two oth­er key pro­grams, com­plet­ing a one-two punch.

The mid-stage study of dem­cizum­ab was an em­bar­rass­ing fail­ure for the pri­ma­ry as well as the key sec­ondary end­point in the study of metasta­t­ic pan­cre­at­ic can­cer — a tough field in can­cer R&D. Com­bin­ing dem­cizum­ab with Abrax­ane and gem­c­itabine in un­treat­ed pa­tients es­sen­tial­ly mir­rored the PFS re­sults for the com­par­a­tive triple that re­placed On­coMed’s drug with a place­bo.

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