iOnctura expands Advisory Board

Written by: Editor
Published on: 27 Sep 2022

iOncturaGeneva, Switzerland, 27 September 2022 -- iOnctura SA, a clinical-stage biotech developing selective cancer therapies against targets that play critical roles in multiple tumor survival pathways, announces today the expansion of its Advisory Board to include clinical specialists and autotaxin (ATX) experts. The new members will add expertise in pancreatic tumour immunology, translational research and clinical drug development and will support progression of both iOnctura’s clinical-stage drug assets.

“I would like to welcome Andrew Biankin, David Brindley, Rachel Chambers, David Parkinson and Owen Sansom, highly respected experts in their field, to iOnctura,” said Catherine Pickering, PhD, CEO of iOnctura. “We are excited they are joining our Advisory Board as they bring significant additional expertise to iOnctura to progress our clinical pipeline. They have already provided valuable support for our upcoming Phase Ib trial of next-generation oral small molecule ATX inhibitor IOA-289, which will start imminently.”

Prof Andrew Biankin: Regius Professor of Surgery, University of Glasgow; Director of the Wolfson Wohl Cancer Research Centre; Chief Investigator of the Precision-Panc Platform.

Prof David Brindley: Professor of Biochemistry, University of Alberta; Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Prof Rachel Chambers: Professor of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology and Director of the Centre for Inflammation and Tissue Repair (CITR), Division of Medicine, UCL.

Dr David Parkinson: ESSA President, CEO and Board Director; Director on the Boards of CTI Biopharma and Angiocrine Biosciences.

Prof Owen Sansom: Director, Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute, Glasgow; Science Director, Cancer Research UK Scotland Centre and Director, MRC national mouse genetic network.

IOA-289 is the first autotaxin (ATX) inhibitor in clinical development for cancer. It is an oral small molecule inhibitor with novel binding chemistry and a safe clinical profile. We have shown that inhibiting ATX with IOA-289 directly prevents the proliferation of cancer cells.  Furthermore, IOA-289 interrupts resistance to cancer therapy by reducing fibrotic scar tissue, unveiling the tumor and enabling the immune system to recruit infiltrating lymphocytes into the tumor. Thanks to this multi-pronged mode of attack, IOA-289 reduced tumor burden in mouse pancreatic cancer models. A clinical trial testing IOA-289 in combination with gemcitabine/nab-paclitaxel in first-line metastatic pancreatic cancer patients will start imminently.

Pancreatic cancer (PDAC): Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is the most common form of pancreatic cancer accounting for approximately 90% of cases. PDAC has a poor prognosis, with less than 5% of patients surviving beyond five years after diagnosis. There are over 50,000 diagnoses of pancreatic cancer each year in the United States and over 65,000 in the EU5.

iOnctura SA  is a clinical-stage biotech developing selective cancer therapies against targets that play critical roles in multiple tumor survival pathways such as cellular proliferation; escape from immune detection; and drug resistance. iOnctura’s pioneering approach to drug development is expected to offer significant clinical benefits over the traditional approach of targeting a single pathway alone.  iOnctura has progressed two therapeutic candidates into mid-stage clinical development: IOA-244, a highly selective allosteric inhibitor of PI3Kδ to treat Treg-driven tumors; and IOA-289, a highly selective, non-competitive autotaxin (ATX) inhibitor to treat cancer associated fibroblast (CAF) driven tumors. iOnctura is backed by specialist institutional investors including M Ventures, Inkef Capital, VI Partners, Schroders Capital, and 3B Future Health Fund.