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iOnctura Presents Compelling Preclinical Data on its Clinical Stage Autotaxin Inhibitor IOA-289 at SITC

·3-min read

GENEVA, Switzerland, Nov. 12, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- iOnctura SA, a clinical stage oncology company targeting core resistance and relapse mechanisms at the tumor-stroma-immune interface, presented compelling preclinical evidence on its next-generation autotaxin inhibitor, IOA-289, at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (#SITC) Annual Meeting on November 10–14, 2021.

Autotaxin is a secreted glycoprotein that hydrolyzes LPC to LPA. LPA has a direct effect on tumor cell growth and survival. It also modulates the tumor microenvironment at the level of immune and stromal cells, enabling tumors to evade host immunity and impairing the response to therapy. The expression of both autotaxin and LPA is elevated in most solid tumors, with corresponding increases measurable in patients’ plasma. iOnctura is developing IOA-289 as a novel therapy for oncology indications where the response to chemotherapy and / or immunotherapy is sub-optimal due to the presence of an immunosuppressive stromal microenvironment.

The data presented at SITC showed that IOA-289 is able to dose-dependently reduce LPA levels, potently modulate fibrotic processes and restore T cell migration in preclinical models. Furthermore, the data also demonstrated IOA-289 exhibited monotherapy activity to inhibit primary tumor growth and metastasis in orthotopic, immunocompetent tumor models. Finally, autotaxin expression was found to be elevated in the plasma of pancreatic cancer patients and its presence was correlated with the tumor biomarker CA19-9, a blood marker used to follow progression in patients with pancreatic cancer.

iOnctura has recently completed recruitment into the healthy volunteer study of IOA-289, investigating the safety and pharmacokinetic profile of IOA-289 in humans. Detailed results will be presented at an upcoming medical oncology conference. iOnctura plans to advance IOA-289 into a Phase 1 clinical study in pancreatic cancer, AION-01, in the first half of 2022.

The poster presentation at SITC entitled “A novel autotaxin inhibitor, IOA-289, modulates tumor, immune and stromal cell function and has monotherapy activity in fibrotic cancer models,” is available at the SITC platform and iOnctura’s website.


Catherine Pickering
Chief Executive Officer
T : +41 79 952 72 52

Press Relations
Jeremy Nieckowski
LifeSci Advisors
T: +41 79 699 97 27

iOnctura SA is clinical stage oncology company targeting core resistance and relapse mechanisms at the tumor-stroma-immune interface. iOnctura’s best-in-class drug development programs combine immune-mediated and direct anti-tumor activity to deliver molecules with superior clinical efficacy and safety in oncology. Its lead program, IOA-244 is the only semi-allosteric PI3Kδ specific, orally dosed, small molecule inhibitor that is being developed in solid and hematologic malignancies to address tumor and stroma induced immune suppression. IOA-244 is currently in a Phase 1 study which will support transition to subsequent registration studies. iOnctura’s second program, IOA-289, is an oral small molecule that inhibits the cross-talk between the tumor and its stroma and is in a Phase 1 study. iOnctura is backed by blue chip investors including M Ventures, Inkef Capital, VI Partners, Schroders Capital, and 3B Future Health Fund. For more information, please visit

IOA-289, originally licensed from Cancer Research UK, is iOnctura’s second clinical compound, a next generation oral small molecule autotaxin inhibitor. iOnctura have completed recruitment in a single ascending dose study of IOA-289 in healthy volunteers and plans to advance IOA-289 into a phase 1 clinical study in pancreatic cancer, AION-01, in the first half of 2022. iOnctura has undertaken extensive validation of the autotaxin inhibition mechanism in multiple preclinical solid tumor models.

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