Celgene has decided not to exercise its option to license OncoMed's bispecific antibody navicixizumab.

The drug is designed to inhibit the function of both DLL4 and VEGF and thereby induce anti-tumor responses while mitigating certain angiogenic-related toxicities.

According to OncoMed, Celgene made the decision because of “strategic product portfolio considerations”.

"While we are disappointed in Celgene's decision, we thank them for the productive interactions in evaluating navicixizumab, and we respect their decision given their pipeline prioritisation and focus," said John Lewicki, OncoMed’s president and chief executive.

"With the global development and commercialisation of navicixizumab remaining under our control, we are evaluating potential opportunities for the program and will continue to assess the data as it evolves for navicixizumab in combination with paclitaxel in heavily pretreated platinum-resistant ovarian cancer patients."

The firm is currently carrying out a Phase Ib clinical trial of the drug in combination with paclitaxel in patients with platinum-resistant late-stage ovarian cancer, intermin data from which are to be presented at the next month at the European Society of Medical Oncology meeting in Munich.

Celgene continues to retain its options to license OncoMed's etigilimab (anti-TIGIT monoclonal antibody, OMP-313M32) and rosmantuzumab (anti-RSPO3, OMP-131R10) under the firms’ collaboration.