Ikena Oncology Discontinues IK-930 Program And Cuts Workforce, Analyst Calls It 'Disappointing'

Zinger Key Points
  • Ikena reported $157 million in cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities as of March 31, 2024.
  • The company will seek strategic options for the program, including potential partners for developing IK-930 in combination with other agents
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On Tuesday, Ikena Oncology Inc IKNA discontinued the clinical IK-930 program, the company’s TEAD1- selective Hippo pathway inhibitor, and continued clinical development of IK-595, a novel MEK-RAF molecular glue.

Concurrently, Ikena is evaluating strategic options for the company and its development pipeline.

The company said that based on a review of clinical data to date, available resources, and strategic priorities, the company decided to discontinue the development of IK-930.

The IK-930 Phase 1 program will begin winding down activities; treatment will continue for enrolled patients who have derived benefits.

The company will seek strategic options for the program, including potential partners for developing IK-930 in combination with other targeted agents.

In November 2023, Ikena shared initial data from twenty-six patients treated in the ongoing dose escalation portion of the Phase 1 trial of IK-930.

In connection with the discontinuation of IK-930 development, the company is executing a workforce reduction of approximately 53%

Ikena reported $157 million in cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities as of March 31, 2024.

William Blair writes, “The discontinuation of IK-930 is clearly a disappointment, as it removes the potential for a meaningful clinical catalyst later this year with the updated formulation following a disappointing initial clinical readout in the fall of 2023.”

The analyst adds, “We believe clear single-agent activity with IK-595 will be needed to generate significant interest and share appreciation beyond the cash balance.” William Blair maintains an Outperform rating.

Management expressed enthusiasm about IK-595’s profile and its potential for a simpler development path in significantly larger market opportunities.

Wedbush writes, “While IK-595 showed encouraging preclinical activity against multiple xenograft models of cancers with different RAS/MAPK alterations, we are moving to the sidelines regarding shares until management discloses more data and development plans for the asset, given the competition in the space.”

Wedbush has downgraded the stock to Neutral from Outperform, cutting the price target to $2 from $8.

Price Action: IKNA shares are up 23.30% at $1.64 at the last check on Wednesday.

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