Ignyta today said it would end development of three cancer candidates—two of them acquired from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries—in order to focus on two more-promising experimental treatments.

Being jettisoned by Ignyta are the Phase I candidate RXDX-107 and two preclinical treatments, RXDX-103 and RXDX-108. In March 2015, Ignyta acquired from Teva RXDX-107 and RXDX-108, as well as two other cancer candidates in exchange for 1.5 million shares of Ignyta's common stock, a deal valued at $15 million.

The other two candidates—RXDX-105 and RXDX-106—are among four experimental cancer treatments Ignyta said it will continue developing.

RXDX-105 is an oral small molecule multikinase inhibitor with potent activity against such targets as RET, BRAF, and CSF-1R, now in a Phase I/IB dose escalation clinical trial. RXDX-106 is a small molecule pseudo-irreversible inhibitor of TYRO3, AXL, and Mer (collectively, “TAM”), and cMET that is in late preclinical development, Ignyta disclosed.

Also continuing in development within Ignyta’s pipeline, in conjunction with complementary diagnostics development and laboratory operations, are:

  • Entrectinib, designed to treat patients with cancers that harbor activating alterations to the TrkA, TrkB, TrkC, ROS1, and ALK proteins. In-licensed from Nerviano Medical Sciences (NMS), entrectinib is now in a Phase II study and two ongoing Phase I/II studies.
  • Taladegib, a small molecule hedgehog/smoothened antagonist in-licensed from Eli Lilly that has achieved clinical proof-of-concept and a recommended Phase II dose in a Phase I dose escalation trial.

Ignyta added that it was also ending development of some of its “Spark” discovery programs, focused on treatments against multiple molecular targets that, when altered, drive tumorigenesis. Those targets were identified, the company said, by mining its Oncolome™ database for molecular alterations that frequently occur in tumor tissue samples.

In a regulatory filing, the company also disclosed it was terminating its CSO and svp of research Robert Wild, Ph.D., in connection with its refocusing of research.

Going forward, Ignyta said, it will focus on candidates that have generated the most promising results, while deprioritizing pipeline programs that have either generated less promising data or fall outside of Ignyta’s focus on molecularly targeted therapies.

Ignyta chairman and CEO Jonathan Lim, M.D., said in a statement: “After reviewing our pipeline and recent preclinical data for certain programs in light of this goal, and keeping in mind our obligation to be good stewards of our resources, we are undertaking this streamlining of our operations to focus on the key priorities and competencies that we believe are most likely to generate value for patients and stockholders.”

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