Hippo Program

Ikena is discovering patient-directed therapies targeting the Hippo pathway, a key tumor suppressor axis with tumor cell intrinsic dependence and immunomodulatory mechanisms of action.

Hippo Program

Ikena is targeting the Hippo pathway, a key tumor suppressor axis with tumor cell intrinsic dependence and immunomodulatory mechanisms of action.

The Hippo pathway is a critical signal transduction pathway that regulates cell fate, polarity, proliferation and survival as well as organ size and tissue homeostasis. It is highly mutated in a number of cancer types, and numerous non-canonical oncogenes and tumor suppressors, including KRAS, NRAS, p53, PTEN, PIK3CA, EGFR, and β-catenin, can affect Hippo signaling. Moreover, the Hippo pathway has been shown to promote immune evasion via multiple mechanisms.
Passion, innovation and courage
Ikena‘s internally developed Hippo program is currently in lead optimization stage, and identification of a development candidate is expected during the second half of 2020.

When the Hippo pathway is inactivated, the transcriptional coactivators YAP and TAZ are stabilized, translocate into the cell nucleus and bind to the TEAD transcription factor to drive transcription of multiple genes involved in tumor initiation and progression, cancer metastasis and therapeutic resistance. Activated Hippo signaling correlates with poor patient outcomes in a number of cancers.

Clinical proof-of-concept studies will be performed in cancers with loss of function mutations known to drive disease. In addition, translational studies are ongoing to identify tumor types likely to be Hippo pathway dependent.

Our pipeline includes patient-directed programs modulating both the immune system and the tumor.