OncoMed closes $154m financing round

The clinical-stage pharmaceuticals company, now conducting human clinical trials, has added new investor Nomura Phase4 Ventures to its roster of venture backers in the $93m final tranche.

Cancer-focused drug company OncoMed Pharmaceuticals has completed its $154 million Series B financing round by closing the $93 million final tranche.

Nomura Phase4 Ventures was the sole new investor in the final tranche. Nomura joined existing venture backers Latterell Venture Partners, The Vertical Group, Morganthaler Ventures, Adams Street Partners, DeNovo Ventures and Bay Partners.

UK-based Nomura invests in biopharmaceutical, specialty pharmaceutical and medical device companies in the US and Europe.

OncoMed is a clinical-stage company developing antibody treatments targeting cancer “stem cells”. The company began Phase I human clinical studies earlier this year.

Cancer stem cells are a small subset of cells found in tumors that have the capacity to initiate and drive tumor growth. The cells were discovered by OncoMed’s founders and appear to be resistant to standard chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

The financing will provide several years of operating cash and allow OncoMed to bring two treatments through Phase II clinical trials.

Strategic partner GlaxoSmithKline, a global pharmaceutical and healthcare company, also participated in the financing.

OncoMed and GlaxoSmithKline entered into a strategic alliance last December which provides GlaxoSmithKline with an option to license four products in exchange for an undisclosed initial payment comprised of cash as well as an equity investment. OncoMed is eligible to earn milestone payments up to $1.4 billion.