Ignyta dumps some Teva cancer drugs to focus on its top prospects

San Diego's Ignyta ($RXDX) is dumping three potential cancer treatments, including two acquired from Teva ($TEVA), in an effort to trim its pipeline and invest in projects management believes have the best shot at success.

The company is dumping three targeted cancer compounds: the Phase I RXDX-107 and the preclinical RXDX-103 and RXDX-108. Also on the way out are an undisclosed number of discovery-stage projects, the biotech said.

Ignyta picked up RXDX-107 and RXDX-108 in a deal with Teva last year in which the company traded 1.5 million of its own shares for four pipeline oncology drugs. Concurrent with the deal, Teva bought another 1.5 million Ignyta shares for $15 million.

Now Ignyta is narrowing its focus and shifting its attention to entrectinib, a kinase inhibitor now in Phase II, and taladegib, a cancer therapy that has cleared Phase I. The company is also hanging onto the Teva-acquired RXDX-105 and RXDX-106, a pair of targeted treatments in early development.

The overarching idea, CEO Jonathan Lim said, is to train Ignyta's limited resources on the projects most likely to generate positive results. As of Sept. 30, the company reported $163.1 million in cash and equivalents.

"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."

Ignyta is also letting go of Chief Scientific Officer Robert Wild, who joined the company in 2014 after a stint in charge of oncology discovery at Eli Lilly ($LLY).

- read the statement