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iOnctura gets €17.5M funding to develop novel pancreatic cancer therapy


The Netherlands-based iOnctura BV, a clinical-stage biotech developing novel cancer therapies, recently that it has been granted €17.5 million funding from the European Investment Council’s (EIC) Accelerator Program. With the latest funding they will work on the advancement of their product – IOA-289 (a highly-selective, first-in-class autotaxin inhibitor, to transform the treatment of pancreatic cancer).

The EIC’s funding consists of a grant of €2.5 million, and €15 million of equity investment. Recently, Onctura also announced the first patient was dosed in a Phase Ib clinical trial of IOA289 in metastatic pancreatic cancer.

Catherine Pickering, Chief Executive Officer of iOnctura, said: “We are delighted to announce this funding from the EIC to support the clinical development of IOA-289 for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer is the only cancer with mortality on the rise in both sexes and is currently the 3 rd largest cause of death by cancer in the US, and the 4 th in Europe. 

“There’s an urgent need to develop new therapies for pancreatic cancer and preclinical data demonstrate that IOA-289 offers a new approach, through a multi-pronged mechanism that addresses three hallmarks of cancer: fibrosis, immune suppression and tumor cell proliferation.” 

The funding came as part of the most recent tranche of grants from the EIC Accelerator program under Horizon Europe, that aims to accelerate deep tech startups through grants and equity investments. 

For this second wave of grants, the European Commission selected 78 innovative startups for funding during a highly competitive process. In all, 240 companies were interviewed by juries of experienced investors and entrepreneurs out of a total of more than 1,000 applications. The selected companies will together receive up to €470 million of funding in a combination of grants and equity investments.

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