iOnctura Expands its Clinical Advisory Board


iOnctura SA announces the addition of new members to its Clinical Advisory Board (CAB)

Geneva, Switzerland, 4th February 2020: iOnctura SA, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, developing a pipeline of next generation molecules targeting cancer and fibrosis, announces the addition of new members to its Clinical Advisory Board (CAB) with the appointment of Dr. Hendrik-Tobias Arkenau, Executive Medical Director, Sarah Cannon Research Institute, UK, and Dr. Jordi Rodón Ahnert, Clinical co-director MD Anderson Cancer Center.

These appointments come as the company is poised to enter clinical development of its lead product candidate and continues to evolve into a leading biotechnology company with a diverse and sustainable pipeline. The two new CAB members will add additional expertise in tumour immunology, translational research and clinical drug development with a focus on precision medicine in oncology.

On welcoming the new members to the CAB, Catherine Pickering, CEO of iOnctura commented: “We are delighted to have attracted these two world-renowned experts to our Clinical Advisory Board. Their collective knowledge and experience in the field of immunology and oncology, and specifically PI3Kδ, will help iOnctura prepare for the next stage of development and maximise the potential of our pipeline of oncology and fibrosis programs.

“Each member brings a wealth of experience in advancing oncology compounds from early to late stage clinical development and through to marketing approval, and the guidance we will receive will be invaluable as we move our first candidate into clinical development and first-in-human studies.”

Drs. Arkenau and Ahnert will join the CAB at the time the company is entering the clinic. iOnctura’s most advanced programme, IOA-244, is a clinical phase, next generation PI3Kδ inhibitor with a unique chemical structure, exquisite selectivity, excellent drug-like properties and an expected best-in-class safety profile. It is being developed as a novel targeted therapy for solid tumours that over express PI3Kδ and are burdened by immune-suppressive subtypes sensitive to PI3Kδ inhibition.

iOnctura’s second programme, IOA-289, is a novel autotaxin (ATX) inhibitor with superior potency compared to clinical-stage ATX inhibitors. IOA-289 is being developed as a first-in-class therapy for solid tumour indications that over express ATX and are burdened with cancer-associated fibrosis. IOA-289 has demonstrated anti-tumour and anti-fibrotic efficacy in preclinical models and is in advanced in vivo safety studies.

For further information, please contact:
Mary Clark, Hollie Vile, 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 funded by M Ventures. It is a clinical stage biotechnology 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 programs harness the combined effect of immunemediated and direct anti-tumour activity and aim to deliver molecules with superior clinical efficacy and safety in oncology.

The company’s lead program, IOA-244, will enter 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 immunemediated 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

** Clinical Advisory Board Biographies

Dr. Hendrik-Tobias Arkenau **

Dr. Arkenau joined Sarah Canon in 2000 and serves as the Executive Medical Director for Sarah Cannon Research Institute, UK. He leads Sarah Cannon’s UK drug development program of early clinical and tumour specific trials and supports the molecular profiling initiative of Sarah Cannon. Dr. Arkenau has vast experience in early oncology clinical drug development with a special interest in gastrointestinal cancer and melanoma. He received his medical degree in 2000 at the Medical School Hanover, Germany, and completed his internship and specialist training in oncology in 2007. Before joining Sarah Cannon, he was senior clinical fellow at the Royal Marsden Hospital and team leader for early drug development at the Prince of Wales Clinical School at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. He has published and co-authored >150 peer-reviewed manuscripts.

Dr. Jordi Rodón Ahnert

Dr. Rodón specializes in early drug development, biomarker discovery, personalized cancer medicine, and neuro-oncology. He received his medical and doctoral degrees from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona and pursued post-graduate medical training at the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital. Dr. Rodón spent two years at the Advanced Drug Development program at the Institute for Drug Development (IDD) in San Antonio, Texas, and completed his training in drug development in ICT as a senior clinical research fellow. He joined the MD Anderson faculty in 2016 as an Associate Professor in the Department of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics (ICT) with a joint appointment in the Department of Genomic Medicine. Dr. Rodón also serves as Associate Medical Director for the Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy and Clinical Co-Director of the Precision Oncology Decision Support Group. Over the course of his career, Dr. Rodón has been the principal or co-principal investigator on over 30 early phase clinical trials focusing on a range of advanced solid malignancies, partnering with leaders in industry including Novartis, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, Eli Lilly, Genentech, Sanofi, and others. With this, he has contributed to about 60 peer-reviewed publications detailing both trial results and basic research findings. Dr. Rodón’s most significant contributions to the field include the development of PI3K, FGFR and TGFβ inhibitors and multiple translational collaborations in those fields.