Ikena Oncology Presents Preclinical Data at the 34th EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium on Novel TEAD Inhibitor, IK-930, Combating Therapeutic Resistance

BOSTON, Oct. 26, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ikena Oncology, Inc. (Nasdaq: IKNA, “Ikena”), a targeted oncology company forging new territory in patient-directed cancer treatment, today announced a poster presentation highlighting preclinical data on the company’s novel TEAD inhibitor, IK-930, at the 34th EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics, taking place October 26-28, 2022, in Barcelona, Spain (www.eortc.org/ena).

The poster (#111) is titled “IK-930, a Novel TEAD-inhibitor, Overcomes Hippo/YAP-mediated Adaptive Response to MEK and EGFR-targeted Therapies” and will be presented by Ikena Senior Scientist, Mihir Rajurkar, Ph.D. in today’s poster session. The results support the potential of TEAD inhibition by IK-930 to enhance anti-tumor activity when combined with EGFR or MEK inhibitors in multiple oncogene-driven solid tumors.

Highlights of the preclinical poster include:

  • Hippo pathway activation is an adaptive response to targeted therapies, including MEK and EGFR inhibitors
  • Addition of IK-930 blocked compensatory TEAD-mediated transcription induced by EGFR or MEK inhibitors
  • The combination of IK-930 with EGFR or MEK inhibitors resulted in apoptosis in vitro and led to strong antitumor activity in vivo in KRAS and EGFR mutant tumor models
  • Combination therapy with IK-930 and EGFR inhibitors reduced the prevalence of refractory persister cells, a subpopulation of cells that can drive resistance to therapies

We are pleased to share this preclinical update on IK-930 at the EORTC-NCI-AACR triple meeting this year, adding to the foundation we have built around our TEAD program. These data reinforce our belief that the Hippo pathway is often activated as a critical resistance mechanism to other targeted therapies, and that IK-930 has the potential to overcome therapeutic resistance,” said Jeffrey Ecsedy, Ph.D., Chief Development Officer of Ikena. “One of the exciting aspects of these data is the impact IK-930 has on persister cells – showing there is potential for IK-930 to prevent resistance to EGFR inhibitors and even reverse the effect when given after resistance has already emerged. We are forging ahead with our ongoing investigation of IK-930 both as a monotherapy and in combination and look forward to sharing our clinical findings next year.”

IK-930 is currently being studied in a first-in-human Phase 1 clinical trial in patients with advanced solid tumors (NCT05228015). Multiple combination cohorts are planned, the first of which will be assessing IK-930’s impact on resistance to EGFR inhibitors.

More details on the conference program can be found on the conference website. Ikena’s poster presentation will be available on the Events & Presentations section of the company’s website following the conference.

About IK-930
IK-930 is an oral, paralog-selective TEAD inhibitor targeting the Hippo signaling pathway. IK-930 binds to TEAD transcription factors and prevents transcription of multiple genes that drive cancer progression. By targeting the Hippo pathway, a key driver of cancer pathogenesis that is genetically altered in approximately 10% of all cancer types, IK-930 could have a differentiating impact across many cancers with high unmet need. Ikena is advancing IK-930 both as a monotherapy in patients with Hippo pathway mutated cancers and in combination with other approved targeted therapies to combat therapeutic resistance. IK-930 is currently being studied in a Phase 1 clinical trial as a monotherapy in patients with advanced solid tumors with or without gene alterations in the Hippo pathway, including NF2-deficient malignant mesothelioma, Epithelioid Hemangioendothelioma (EHE) with documented TAZ/CAMTA1 fusion genes as well as other solid tumors with either NF2 deficiency or with YAP/TAZ genetic fusions (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT05228015).

About Ikena Oncology
Ikena Oncology™ is focused on developing novel therapies targeting key signaling pathways that drive the formation and spread of cancer. The Company’s lead targeted oncology program, IK-930, is a TEAD inhibitor addressing the Hippo signaling pathway, a known tumor suppressor pathway that also drives resistance to multiple targeted therapies. The Company’s ongoing discovery research spans other targets in the Hippo pathway as well as the RAS signaling pathway. Additional programs targeting the tumor microenvironment and immune signaling are in the clinic, including IK-175, an AHR antagonist, which is being developed in collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb. Ikena’s pipeline is built on addressing genetically defined or biomarker-driven cancers and developing therapies that can serve specific patient populations in need of new therapeutic options. To learn more, visit www.ikenaoncology.com or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended, including, without limitation, statements regarding: the timing and advancement of our targeted oncology programs, including the timing of updates; our expectations regarding the therapeutic benefit of our targeted oncology programs; our ability to efficiently discover and develop product candidates; our ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approval of our product candidates; the implementation of our business model, and strategic plans for our business and product candidates. The words “may,” “will,” “could,” “would,” “should,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “project,” “potential,” “continue,” “target” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Any forward-looking statements in this press release are based on management’s current expectations and beliefs and are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and important factors that may cause actual events or results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by any forward-looking statements contained in this press release, including, without limitation, those risks and uncertainties related to the timing and advancement of our targeted oncology programs; our expectations regarding the therapeutic benefit of our targeted oncology programs; expectations regarding our new executive officer; our ability to efficiently discover and develop product candidates; the implementation of our business model, and strategic plans for our business and product candidates, and other factors discussed in the “Risk Factors” section of Ikena’s Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2022, which is on file with the SEC, as updated by any subsequent SEC filings. We caution you not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. We disclaim any obligation to publicly update or revise any such statements to reflect any change in expectations or in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statements may be based, or that may affect the likelihood that actual results will differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release represent our views only as of the date hereof and should not be relied upon as representing its views as of any subsequent date. We explicitly disclaim any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

Investor Contact:
Rebecca Cohen
Ikena Oncology

Media Contact:
Luke Shiplo
LifeSci Communications

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