Kura Oncology Establishes Collaboration With Foundation Medicine, Inc. To Support Tipifarnib Development In HRAS Mutant Head And Neck Cancer

SAN DIEGO, July 13, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Kura Oncology, Inc. (NASDAQ:KURA), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of precision medicines for oncology, today announced it has entered into a collaboration agreement with Foundation Medicine, Inc. (NASDAQ:FMI) to support patient enrollment for Kura’s clinical program for tipifarnib in patients with relapsed and/or refractory HRAS mutant squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN).

“We’re excited to collaborate with Foundation Medicine, a leader and innovator in precision medicine, molecular information and comprehensive genomic profiling, as part of our strategy to reach a broader population of patients with high unmet medical need,” said Troy Wilson, Ph.D., J.D., President and CEO of Kura Oncology. “Our preliminary data suggests tipifarnib has activity in patients with HRAS mutant squamous cell head and neck cancer, who have failed other treatment options, and we believe Foundation Medicine’s unique expertise and outreach to physicians treating SCCHN patients, in particular, in the community treatment setting fit well with our company’s objectives and values.”

Through this collaboration, Foundation Medicine’s SmartTrials Precision Enrollment program will contact physicians treating individuals across the U.S. diagnosed with SCCHN whose tumors harbor HRAS mutations as detected in the course of routine clinical care. The treating physicians will be contacted and informed of Kura’s ongoing Phase 2 study of tipifarnib, including relevant details about the trial, including trial patient characteristics and investigational centers, to assist the physician in evaluating tipifarnib as a potential treatment option.

Tipifarnib is an inhibitor of farnesylation, a key cell signaling process implicated in cancer initiation and development, and is under investigation in multiple ongoing clinical trials. Tipifarnib has demonstrated encouraging preclinical and clinical activity, including durable partial responses, in an ongoing Phase 2 clinical trial in patients with HRAS mutant SCCHN. Additional information about this clinical trial can be found at clinicaltrials.gov.

About HRAS Mutant SCCHN

Head and neck cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide, with squamous cell carcinomas accounting for most head and neck cancers. The relapsed and/or refractory SCCHN patient population has an overall survival of approximately 6-8 months and few therapeutic options. New therapies for SCCHN, including immunotherapy, typically show a response rate in the range of 10-20%. HRAS is a proto-oncogene that has been implicated in the development and progression of SCCHN. HRAS mutant SCCHN has an estimated annual incidence of approximately 2,800 to 3,400 patients in the U.S. and represents a significant unmet medical need.

About Kura Oncology

Kura Oncology is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to realizing the promise of precision medicines for the treatment of cancer. The company’s pipeline consists of small molecule drug candidates that target cancer signaling pathways where there is a strong scientific and clinical rationale to improve outcomes by identifying those patients most likely to benefit from treatment. Kura Oncology’s lead drug candidate is tipifarnib, a farnesyl transferase inhibitor, which is currently being studied in multiple Phase 2 clinical trials. Kura’s pipeline also includes KO-947, an ERK inhibitor, currently in a Phase 1 trial, and KO-539, an inhibitor of the menin-MLL protein-protein interaction, currently in preclinical testing. For additional information about Kura Oncology, please visit the company’s website at www.kuraoncology.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains certain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to be materially different from historical results or from any future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements include statements regarding, among other things, the potential activity, tolerability and utility of tipifarnib, the conduct, results and timing of pre-clinical studies and clinical trials, plans regarding future research and development activities and expectations regarding clinical trial enrollment, and biomarkers related to tipifarnib. Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially include the risk that compounds that appeared promising in early research or clinical trials do not demonstrate safety and/or efficacy in later preclinical studies or clinical trials, the risk that Kura Oncology may not obtain approval to market its product candidates, uncertainties associated with regulatory filings and applications, the risks associated with reliance on outside financing to meet capital requirements, and the risks associated with reliance on third parties to successfully conduct clinical trials within and outside the United States and for development and commercialization of product candidates and other risks associated with the process of discovering, developing and commercializing drugs that are safe and effective for use as human therapeutics. You are urged to consider statements that include the words "may," "might", "will," "would," "could," "should," "believes," "estimates," "projects," "promise, " "potential," "expects," "plans," "anticipates," "intends," "continues," "designed," "goal," or the negative of those words or other comparable words to be uncertain and forward-looking. For a further list and description of the risks and uncertainties the Company faces, please refer to the Company's periodic and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which are available at www.sec.gov. Such forward-looking statements are current only as of the date they are made, and Kura Oncology assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


Robert H. Uhl
Managing Director
Westwicke Partners, LLC
(858) 356-5932

Mark Corbae
Vice President
Canale Communications
(619) 849-5375

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