iOnctura Appoints Industry Veteran Dr. Joanna Horobin as Chair


Geneva, Switzerland, 27 May 2020: iOnctura SA, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, developing a pipeline of next generation molecules targeting cancer and fibrosis, today announces that it has appointed Dr. Joanna Horobin as non-executive Chair to the iOnctura Board with immediate effect.

Joanna Horobin M.B., Ch.B. is an accomplished drug developer and biotech leader with over 35 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech sector in Europe and the US. Dr. Horobin has held multiple C-suite roles in biotech companies in the USA, most recently as the Chief Medical Officer at Idera Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ, IDRA) and was also the CEO of Syndax Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ, SNDX).

On welcoming Dr. Joanna Horobin to iOnctura, Catherine Pickering, CEO, commented: “We are delighted to have Joanna join our Board. Her extensive product development and executive experience within the private and listed pharma/biotech industry together with her track record of leading companies in the field of oncology therapeutics will be invaluable to iOnctura as we progress our novel, highly selective, PI3Kδ inhibitor and our differentiated ATX inhibitor through clinical development.”

Dr. Joanna Horobin, incoming Chairman of iOnctura, said: “iOnctura has a very exciting pipeline of molecules targeting oncology and fibrosis for application in pioneering therapies. I am very much looking forward to working closely with the team and my Board colleagues as we shape the next chapter in iOnctura’s evolution and future success.”

Dr. Horobin joined the pharma industry, first at Beecham Pharmaceuticals (now GSK), in 1982 and her initial clinical development roles resulted in the development and launch of 8 products in the anti-infective, cardiovascular and anti-inflammatory categories. Whilst at Rhone Poulenc Rorer (now Sanofi), in France and USA, she shifted to cancer drug development which has been her major career focus. She led a joint venture between Rhone Poulenc and Chugai to develop and launch Chugai’s gCSF product Granocyte in Europe and, as VP Oncology, launched Rhone Poulenc Rorer as a major player in oncology with the global launch of Taxotere. Dr. Horobin gained her medical qualifications from the University of Manchester Medical School in the United Kingdom. She serves as a Non-Executive Director on the boards of Nordic Nanovector ASA (Oslo, NANO), Liquidia Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ, LQDA) and privately held Kymera Therapeutics Inc.

For further information, please contact:
Mary Clark, Elakiya Rangarajah
Optimum Strategic Communications
Tel: +44 (0) 203 950 9144


About iOnctura

iOnctura SA, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, was founded in June 2017 as a spin out from Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and seed funded by M Ventures. It is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing a pipeline of next generation, differentiated molecules that are at the forefront of pioneering new therapies for the treatment of cancer. Each of iOnctura’s programmes harness the combined effect of immune-mediated and direct anti-tumour activity and aim to deliver molecules with superior clinical efficacy and safety in oncology.

The company’s lead programme, IOA-244, entered the clinic in Q1 2020. The study is aimed to clinically demonstrate for the first time that a highly selective PI3Kδ inhibition not only drives an immune-mediated response but also a direct anti-tumoural effect in a stratified patient population across multiple solid tumour indications. The company’s second molecule is a novel autotaxin (ATX) inhibitor at IND stage for patients with solid tumours burdened with cancer-associated fibrosis. For more information, please visit