Ikena collaborates with leading biopharmaceutical companies to enhance our biomarker-driven discovery and development efforts.

Our discovery research engine utilizes a robust, multidisciplinary approach to elucidate promising targets across pathways in immune cells and in cancer cells, to understand their mechanisms of action, and the biology that drives disease, and to rapidly generate small molecule or biologics targeted oncology and immunometabolism development candidates. We perfect the art of translational research by deliberately connecting the scientific rationale from the lab to the patient benefit in the clinic, moving quickly to a proof of concept (POC) while de-risking the program at every turn.

Our business development team works closely with our research and development groups to thoughtfully identify and evaluate prospective external opportunities that are aligned with our strategic objectives. We actively seek discovery, development and commercialization partners, with the goal of accelerating our ability to advance new oncology therapies to patients.

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Celgene Corporation
In January 2019, Ikena announced an exclusive global strategic collaboration with Celgene Corporation, now Bristol Myers Squibb, for the development of two of Ikena’s pipeline programs; the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) antagonist program and the kynurenine-degrading enzyme (“Kynase”) program. Under the terms of the agreement, Ikena received an upfront cash payment of $80 million and an undisclosed equity investment from Bristol Myers Squibb. In exchange, Bristol Myers Squibb received an exclusive option to globally license the IK-175 and IK-412 programs. Ikena is responsible for research and development activities for both programs through Phase 1b. Bristol Myers Squibb is then eligible to assume global licenses to both programs and would be responsible for the further development and commercialization. If a global license agreement is executed, Ikena is eligible to receive milestone payments from Bristol Myers Squibb based on achieving certain pre-specified clinical, regulatory and commercial milestones. Ikena is also eligible to receive tiered royalties on worldwide net sales on products resulting from the licensed programs.
In December 2018, Ikena announced the initiation of two clinical collaborations evaluating Ikena’s EP4 receptor antagonist IK-007 in combination with Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy, Keytruda® (pembrolizumab). Merck is providing Keytruda for these Phase 1b/2 studies that are designed to assess the safety and efficacy of this combination regimen in patients with advanced or progressive microsatellite stable colorectal cancer and in patients with advanced or metastatic PD-1/L-1 refractory non-small cell lung cancer.

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