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Kura Oncology reports positive phase 2 study for Tipifarnib in HRAS mutant head and neck cancer

Published 08 September 2017

Kura Oncology has announced positive topline results from a phase 2 trial for its lead product candidate, tipifarnib, in patients with HRAS mutant relapsed or refractory squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck (HNSCC).

The Phase 2 trial achieved its primary endpoint prior to the completion of enrollment

The trial protocol requires four confirmed, partial responses, per RECIST 1.1 criteria, out of 18 patients to meet its primary endpoint. Four confirmed, partial responses and two patients with disease stabilization have been observed among the first six evaluable HNSCC patients enrolled in the trial.

In addition, objective responses greater than one year in duration have already been observed in two patients.

All patients joined the study upon progression on prior therapy, including chemotherapy, cetuximab or immune therapy. Kura will continue to enroll HRAS mutant HNSCC patients and plans to present data from the study at an upcoming scientific or medical conference.

“We have observed rapid and, in some cases, dramatic responses in patients with relapsed and/or refractory HNSCC who do not appear to benefit from other therapies,” said Antonio Gualberto, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer of Kura Oncology. “Based on these very encouraging results, we are exploring available options to advance the development of tipifarnib in this patient population as quickly as possible.”

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.

Response rates for the three agents approved for treatment of HNSCC in the second line, including cetuximab and immune therapy agents, are in the range of 13-16%, and median overall survival is up to 7.5 months. HRAS is a proto-oncogene that has been implicated in the development and progression of HNSCC and has been established to be uniquely farnesylated.

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.

Source: Company Press Release