|   From the Trenches

Kyn to Ikena: The Art and Science of Rebranding

When we started to think about changing our company name, we knew it wasn’t something to take lightly — changing our brand and outward facing image was a big deal!  Several companies rebranded over the last few years and built successful biotech companies, some publicly-traded (e.g., Translate Bio, Aimmune); nevertheless the process as well as the ultimate messaging seemed tricky and important to have a solid grasp on and plan for.  We considered changing our name last year and decided to hold off, preferring to wait for a more ideal time.  We built some brand recognition following our January 2019 Celgene (now BMS) alliance, which included the AHR antagonist and kynurenine degrading enzyme (“Kynase”) programs, but we were still a young company of just over three years.  If we were going to change our name, it was now or never.  We are working to build a sustainable clinical stage company and felt that the rebranding was an important component of establishing a solid foundation for the future.

This blog was written by Mark Manfredi, CEO of Ikena Oncology, and guest blogger Maude Tessier, CBO, as part of the From The Trenches feature of LifeSciVC.

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