Kura Oncology Doubles on Mid-Stage Trial Results

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Kura Oncology Inc. (NASDAQ: KURA) saw its shares double early Friday after the firm announced results from its mid-stage trial in patients with HRAS mutant relapsed or refractory squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck (HNSCC). Specifically, these were results from its Phase 2 trial for its lead product candidate, tipifarnib.

Ultimately the study met its primary endpoint. Four confirmed, partial responses and two patients with disease stabilization were observed among the first six evaluable HNSCC patients enrolled in the trial.

Additionally, 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.

Antonio Gualberto, M.D., Ph.D., chief medical officer of Kura, commented:

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. 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.

Excluding Friday’s move, Kura has outperformed the broad markets, with the stock up 16% year to date. Over the past 52 weeks, the stock is up only 6%.

Shares of Kura hit a new 52-week high of $13.70 Friday morning. The consensus analyst price target is $17.75 and the 52-week low is $4.00.