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iOnctura awarded €17.5 million for pancreatic cancer therapy

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iOnctura BV, a clinical-stage biotech developing novel cancer therapies, has been granted €17.5 million funding from the European Investment Council’s (EIC) Accelerator Program to develop IOA-289 for pancreatic cancer

The EIC’s funding consists of a grant of €2.5 million and €15 million of equity investment.

On December 8, iOnctura announced the first patient was dosed in a Phase Ib clinical trial of IOA-289 in metastatic pancreatic cancer.

Catherine Pickering, Chief Executive Officer of iOnctura, said:

“We are delighted to announce this funding from the EIC to support the clinical development of IOA-289 for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

“Pancreatic cancer is the only cancer with mortality on the rise in both sexes and is currently the 3rd largest cause of death by cancer in the US, and the 4th in Europe.”

iOnctura was granted the maximum allowed funding due to the significant potential of IOA-289, a highly-selective, first-in-class autotaxin inhibitor, to transform the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

The judging panel recognised tits ability to simultaneously target independent tumour survival pathways associated with tumour proliferation, fibrosis and immune suppression.

Pickering added:

“There’s an urgent need to develop new therapies for pancreatic cancer and preclinical data demonstrate that IOA-289 offers a new approach, through a multi-pronged mechanism that addresses three hallmarks of cancer: fibrosis, immune suppression and tumour cell proliferation.”

IOA-289 is the first ATX inhibitor in clinical development for cancer.

The oral small molecule is a  non-competitive inhibitor with novel binding chemistry and a safe clinical profile.

Research has shown that inhibiting ATX with IOA-289 directly prevents the proliferation of cancer cells.

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