RARE Daily

iOnctura Raises $86 Million to Advance Rare Cancer Pipeline

June 20, 2024

Rare Daily Staff

Swiss biotech iOnctura closed an $86 million (€80 million) series B financing to advance a pipeline of innovative, first-in-class, oral cancer treatments targeting neglected and hard-to-treat cancers.

New investor Syncona led the financing with participation by the EIC Fund, the venture arm of the European Innovation Council (EIC), as well as existing investors M Ventures, Inkef Capital, VI Partners, Schroders Capital and 3B Future Health Fund.

iOnctura is developing a portfolio of precision oral small molecules that target cancers in novel ways. The company has progressed two therapeutic candidates into mid-stage clinical development. Lead asset roginolisib is the first allosteric modulator of PI3Kδ, with a unique chemical structure and binding mode. It is being developed for indications with immune mediated resistance and a high expression of PI3Kδ in cancer cells and tumor-infiltrating immune cells and has demonstrated a first-in-class clinical profile in solid and hematological malignancies, with more than 48 patients treated to date.

The financing will be used to accelerate development of roginolisib for the treatment of uveal melanoma (UM), a rare cancer of the eye with few available treatments. Eye melanoma is a rapidly growing market which is projected to be worth $9.56 billion by 2032. In a phase Ib clinical trial, roginolisib demonstrated long-term safety and promising efficacy in UM with sustained clinical activity over many months. Full results will be announced in the coming months.

The successful UM data reported so far, combined with a rich preclinical data package, supports the rationale to expand into other indications. iOnctura plans to commence trials in other cancer indications, including non-small cell lung cancer and primary myelofibrosis, later in 2024.

iOnctura’s second clinical asset, cambritaxestat, is the only autotaxin inhibitor in clinical development to treat cancer. It has excellent potency and specificity, and is being developed for highly fibrotic tumors that overexpress autotaxin. A phase Ib study of cambritaxestat in combination with chemotherapy in metastatic pancreatic cancer is ongoing.

“This financing is validation of iOnctura’s approach to developing precision cancer treatments with maximum clinical impact,” said Catherine Pickering, CEO of iOnctura. “These therapies have the potential to significantly prolong the health span of patients suffering with neglected cancer types, such as uveal melanoma.”

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