Ikena Oncology to Present New Preclinical Data on AHR Antagonist IK-175 at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer’s 2020 Annual Meeting
IK-175 is an Orally Active Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Antagonist That Inhibits Tumor Growth and Reverses Immune Suppression in Mouse Tumor Models
Boston, Mass. – November 9, 2020 – Ikena Oncology, Inc. (“Ikena”), a clinical-stage, biotechnology company that discovers and develops patient-directed, biomarker-driven therapies, today announced that a poster presentation will take place at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer’s (SITC) 2020 Annual Meeting, taking place virtually November 9-14, 2020. New preclinical data will be presented for IK-175, the Company’s selective oral aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) antagonist currently in Phase 1 studies.
“Activated AHR prevents immune recognition in a range of cancers by modulating both innate and adaptive immunity. This attribute makes AHR a compelling drug target, especially in patients who do not fully benefit from standard-of-care, including checkpoint inhibitors,” said Sergio Santillana, M.D., M.Sc., Chief Medical Officer of Ikena Oncology. “The preclinical data presented at SITC is important because they demonstrate that IK-175 is an orally active AHR antagonist that inhibits tumor growth and reverses immune suppression in preclinical models, providing the rationale for studying this agent in humans. The ongoing Phase 1 study evaluating IK-175 in patients with advanced solid tumors and urothelial carcinoma is progressing well and we look forward to reporting initial results as it matures.”
Summary of Preclinical Research
In this study, IK-175 inhibited AHR activity in rodent and human cancer cell lines as well as human and nonhuman primate primary immune cells, with concentration dependent effects on AHR target gene expression and cytokine release. Orally administered IK-175 dose-dependently demonstrated pharmacodynamic modulation in vivo in mice. Treatment led to an increase in proinflammatory cytokines and CD8+ T-cells in tumor draining lymph nodes, as well as an increase in proinflammatory macrophages and a decrease in Tregs in tumors. IK-175 alone and in combination with an anti-PD-1 antibody demonstrated significant antitumor activity in multiple syngeneic mouse cancer models. In addition, IK-175 in combination with liposomal doxorubicin demonstrated antitumor activity in syngeneic mouse cancer models.
Collectively, these results demonstrate that IK-175 is an orally active AHR antagonist that inhibits tumor growth and reverses immune suppression in mouse tumors models. These data provide rationale for targeting AHR in humans with cancer. IK-175 is currently being evaluated in a Phase 1 clinical trial in patients with advanced solid tumors and urothelial carcinoma (NCT04200963). Ikena intends to evaluate the anti-tumor activity of IK-175 as a single agent, and in combination with other therapies, in cancers with activated AHR.
Details for the SITC 2020 presentation are as follows:
Title: Discovery of clinical candidate IK-175, a selective orally active AHR antagonist
Presenter: Karen McGovern, Ikena Oncology
Session: Virtual Poster Hall
Poster #: 448
Date and time: Wednesday, November 11, 2020 to Saturday, November 14, 2020 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm ET
IK-175 is a selective oral AHR antagonist which prevents AHR-modulated tumor promotion through its influence on both the tumor and the immune system. IK-175 is currently being evaluated in a Phase 1 clinical trial in patients with advanced solid tumors and urothelial carcinoma (NCT04200963). Ikena is employing a multi-assay AHR activation biomarker strategy to select lead cancer indications and enable prospective selection of patients believed most likely to benefit from IK-175. Two patents with claims directed to IK-175 have been issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Ikena’s IK-175 program is the subject of a global strategic collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb. Ikena is responsible for research and development activities for IK-175 through Phase 1b. Bristol Myers Squibb is then eligible to globally license IK-175 and would be responsible for further development and commercialization.
About Ikena Oncology
Ikena Oncology is a clinical-stage biotechnology company that discovers and develops patient-directed, biomarker-driven therapies for cancer patients who need life-saving treatment, by understanding what drives their disease. Ikena is advancing five clinical, preclinical, and discovery programs: IK-007, an EP4 receptor antagonist; IK-175, an AHR antagonist; IK-412, a kynurenine-degrading enzyme (“Kynase”); a TEAD inhibitor targeting the Hippo signaling pathway; and a Ras-signaling discovery-stage program. Ikena has entered into a global strategic collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb on the AHR antagonist and Kynase programs. Ikena has raised capital from top tier investors OrbiMed Advisors and Atlas Venture.