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OncoMed's Q4 Loss Narrows

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Although fourth quarter earnings season is coming to a close, a few companies are yet to report their results. Earlier this week, OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (OMED) reported its fourth quarter results.

OncoMed reported a loss of 15 cents per share, narrower than the year-ago loss of $4.01 per share but missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate earnings of 4 cents per share.

Fourth quarter revenues were $18.98 million, up 173.9% from the year-ago quarter. Revenues, however, missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $21 million.

In 2013, OncoMed reported a loss of $1.93 per share, well below the year-ago loss of $21.30 per share, but wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 77 cents per share.

Revenues were $37.8 million in 2013, up 53.1%. Revenues missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $41 million.

The Quarter in Detail

In the reported quarter, research and development (R&D) expenses increased 77.6% to $16.9 million from the year-ago quarter. OncoMed continues to focus on the development of its pipeline. The company initiated two sets of three phase Ib studies on OMP-54F28 (Fzd8-Fc) and vantictumab, respectively.

Three phase Ib studies have commenced on OMP-54F28 for pancreatic cancer (with Abraxane and gemcitabine), ovarian cancer (with carboplatin and paclitaxel) and hepatocellular cancer (with Nexavar).

The other three phase Ib studies have started on vantictumab for her2-negative breast cancer (with paclitaxel), pancreatic cancer (with Abraxane and gemcitabine) and non-small cell lung cancer (:NSCLC) (with vantictumab and docetaxel). Initial data from the studies on vantictumab are expected in 2014.

Meanwhile, OncoMed intends to advance demcizumab into phase II studies for pancreatic cancer and NSCLC this year. The candidate is being developed under the company’s collaboration agreement with Celgene Corporation (CELG).

OncoMed also intends to initiate phase II studies (ALPINE and PINNACLE) on OMP-59R5 for pancreatic cancer and small cell lung cancer this year.

Fourth quarter 2013 general and administrative (G&A) expenses increased 156.1% to $4.5 million from the year-ago quarter. This increase was mainly driven by higher legal fees, employee-related costs and multiple business development activities.

2014 Guidance

OncoMed expects its operating expenses to increase to $90 million−$95 million (from $61.7 million in 2013) as it continues to investment in the pipeline.

The company expects to exit the year with cash and equivalents balance of more than $215 million.

OncoMed currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Some better-ranked stocks in the biotech sector include Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ALXN) and Alkermes plc (ALKS). Both stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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