OncoMed Pharmaceuticals is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing novel therapeutics that address the fundamental biology driving cancer's growth, resistance, recurrence and metastasis. To date, we have advanced eight novel anti-cancer stem cell product candidates into more than a dozen clinical studies and we continue to pursue the discovery of additional novel anti-cancer therapeutics. All of our product candidates were discovered internally in our own research laboratories.
OncoMed was founded with a focus on cancer stem cells, which are the subpopulation of cells in a tumor responsible for driving growth and metastasis of the tumor. Also known as tumor-initiating cells, cancer stem cells are characterized by the ability to divide and give rise to new cancer stem cells (self-renewal) and to change into the other cells that form the bulk of the tumor (differentiation). Common cancer drugs target bulk tumor cells but have limited impact on cancer stem cells, thereby providing a path for cancer recurrence and metastases. Our therapeutic candidates target key cancer stem cell pathways by blocking self-renewal and driving differentiation.
As our understanding of the biologic pathways driving tumor growth, metastases and recurrence has increased, new discoveries from our research team have identified novel immuno-oncology targets. Tumor cells have evolved ways of evading the body's immune system in order to grow. The therapeutic candidates in our pipeline act by blocking those evasive techniques, making tumor cells more visible to immune system attack and/or bolstering targeted immune cell activity. We are also deploying our expertise in the engineering of antibodies to create new bispecifics that contain two potential drugs in one antibody and are designed to increase anti-cancer activity and in some cases, mitigate known off-target effects. We believe each of our distinct therapeutic candidates has the potential to significantly impact cancer treatment and the clinical outcome of patients with cancer.
To support the advancement of our pipeline and our continued discovery efforts, OncoMed has assembled a proven management team with expertise in oncology research, drug discovery, clinical development, translational medicine, regulatory affairs, and commercial development. In addition, we have established an extensive patent portfolio protecting our novel product candidates, as well as our platform R&D technologies. We have formed strategic alliances with Celgene Corporation, Bayer Pharma AG and GlaxoSmithKline. Since our founding in August 2004, we have raised more than $600 million, more than half of which has come from collaboration funding from our pharmaceutical partnerships, with the rest consisting of a blend of equity financings, including an Initial Public Offering in 2013.