Mark Manfredi, Ikena Oncology CEO

Ike­na inks small cash grab in all-stock deal for Pi­o­nyr to take can­cer drug on Hip­po path­way

Ike­na On­col­o­gy said it added about $43 mil­lion to its run­way af­ter mak­ing an all-stock ac­qui­si­tion of the pri­vate start­up Pi­o­nyr Im­munother­a­peu­tics, a clin­i­cal-stage com­pa­ny that Gilead de­cid­ed not to ful­ly buy out ear­li­er this year.

Ike­na had slimmed down its pipeline in No­vem­ber as the pub­licly trad­ed biotech went in­to cash-sav­ing mode like many of its peers in the in­dus­try.

Now, the stock-for-stock deal, an­nounced Mon­day morn­ing, al­lows Ike­na to keep pur­su­ing the so-called Hip­po path­way with its Phase I-stage IK-930. The ini­tial clin­i­cal da­ta are an­tic­i­pat­ed lat­er this year. The cash is al­so ex­pect­ed to bankroll bring­ing its MEK-RAF in­hibitor IK-595 in­to the clin­ic, and the com­pa­ny has plans to sub­mit an IND this year.

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