OncoDNA announces screening collaboration with Kura Oncology

  • OncoDNA to support patient enrolment for Kura Oncology’s Phase II trial of tipifarnib
  • Agreement demonstrates OncoDNA’s biopharma partnership strategy

Gosselies, Belgium – May 22, 2018: OncoDNA (“OncoDNA or “the Company”), the healthcare technology company making precision medicine a reality, is pleased to announce that it has signed a screening agreement with Kura Oncology, Inc. (“Kura”) (NASDAQ:KURA).

Under the agreement, OncoDNA will support patient enrolment for Kura’s ongoing HRAS tipifarnib trial in patients with HRAS mutant head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC). Tipifarnib is an inhibitor of farnesylation, a key cell signalling process implicated in cancer initiation and resistance to standard therapies. Tipifarnib has demonstrated encouraging clinical activity, including durable responses in HRAS mutant HNSCC. OncoDNA provides physicians in Europe and internationally with next generation sequencing assays for HNSCC oncogenic mutations, including HRAS, for whom tipifarnib may be a potential treatment option.

In addition to screening for HNSCC patients with HRAS mutations at clinical sites participating in Kura studies, the Company will also support Kura’s other recruitment efforts. OncoDNA offers community oncologists comprehensive cancer biomarker analyses and treatment recommendations tailored to the molecular profile of individual patients’ tumors. OncoDNA will inform physicians with HNSCC patients carrying HRAS mutations of potential treatment and clinical trial options, including tipifarnib. Additional information about Kura’s currently ongoing RUN-HN trial can be found at clinicaltrials.gov (identifier: NCT02383927). The financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.

Jean-Pol Detiffe, Chief Executive Officer of OncoDNA, said: “We are excited to announce this collaboration with Kura Oncology. By supporting patient enrolment for Kura Oncology’s trials, we hope to help identify patients who may benefit from tipifarnib helping Kura Oncology’s screening efforts to be as effective and efficient as possible. This agreement is in line with our strategy of collaborating with biopharmaceutical companies, expanding our network among oncologists and also further illustrates the potential of our pioneering diagnostics, which offer best-in-class solid and liquid biopsy tests and tumour profiling. As we develop our business through Europe and beyond, collaborations such as these demonstrate our ability to assist biopharmaceutical companies with their drug development programs and support the push towards better patient care by furthering the boundaries and understanding of precision medicine.”

Antonio Gualberto, M.D., Ph.D., Head of Development and Chief Medical Officer of Kura Oncology, said“Aiding physicians to identify HRAS and other mutations in HNSCC is an essential element of Kura’s clinical development strategy. Streamlining screening processes facilitates timely access to important medical information that could help oncologists and their patients in making treatment decisions.”


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About OncoDNA

OncoDNA is a private, oncology-focused healthcare technology company that combines advanced, comprehensive testing of all clinically relevant cancer biomarkers (DNA, RNA and protein profiles) from both solid and liquid biopsies with a proprietary cancer treatment knowledge database called OncoKDO™ that continuously ‘learns’ from cutting-edge, validated, scientific and medical advances. This one-stop-shop analysis and interpretation service gives oncologists actionable results to enable the selection of treatments tailored to an individual patient’s cancer profile. OncoDNA also works in collaboration with the biopharma industry to develop and deliver the treatments of tomorrow by assisting with design, enrolment and assessment of clinical trials as well as increasing access to approved precision medicines. The company is based in Gosselies, Belgium, and employs c. 55 employees in four countries.


About Kura Oncology, Inc.

Kura Oncology is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to realizing the promise of precision medicines for the treatment of cancer. Kura’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 in solid tumor and hematologic indications. Kura plans to initiate the AIM-HN trial, a single-arm, registration-directed trial of tipifarnib in at least 59 recurrent or metastatic patients with HRAS mutant HNSCC in the second half of 2018. 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 development. For additional information about Kura Oncology, please visit the Kura’s website at www.kuraoncology.com.



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 HNSCC patient population has an overall survival of approximately 6-8 months and few therapeutic options. New therapies for HNSCC, 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 HNSCC. HRAS mutant HNSCC has an estimated annual incidence of approximately 2,800 to 3,400 patients in the U.S. and represents a significant unmet medical need.




+32 (0) 71 18 35 00

Jean-Pol Detiffe, CEO


Pierre Flamant, CFO




Consilium Strategic Communications

+44 (0)20 3709 5700

Amber Fennell, Sukaina Virji, Nicholas Brown, Hendrik Thys


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