GSK, OncoMed enter into potential $1.4 billion agreement

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. OncoMed Pharmaceuticals and GlaxoSmithKline have entered into an agreement worth up to $1.4 billion, according to published reports. According to the agreement, GlaxoSmithKline has bought the rights to four antibodies that OncoMed will take to Phase II clinical trials.

The deal comes after OncoMed made the statement that it believed stem cells are at the source of all solid tumors. This thought may explain why tumors return so often after being all but destroyed by chemotherapy, radiation or surgery.

The theory has received some sharp criticism from scientists, including Scott Kern, a leading pancreatic cancer researcher who told the New York Times it was more akin to religion than science.

The deal hinges on a series of contingencies, milestone payments and royalties paid by GlaxoSmithKline over five years.

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