OncoMed Pharmaceuticals announced that patient dosing has begun in the randomized, placebo-controlled Phase 2 portion of the company's "ALPINE", or Antibody therapy in first-Line Pancreatic cancer Investigating anti-Notch Efficacy and safety, clinical trial of its anti-Notch 2/3 cancer stem cell antibody, tarextumab, being studied for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. Tarextumab is being tested in combination with Abraxane plus gemcitabine in patients with previously untreated stage IV pancreatic cancer. The ALPINE trial is being conducted at up to 30 sites in the U.S. and is expected to enroll approximately 124 patients. The Phase 2 clinical trial will compare the progression-free survival, or PFS, of 15 mg/kg tarextumab administered every two weeks versus placebo in combination with Abraxane plus gemcitabine in all patients. Additionally, PFS will be assessed using a predictive biomarker for high tumor Notch3 expression. Secondary and exploratory endpoints, including overall survival and overall response rate, pharmacokinetics, safety and other biomarkers, will also be evaluated.