Biotech Beat: Kura Oncology Inc’s (KURA) Tipifarnib Continues to Impress

Positive mid-stage trial results for Kura's oncology lead candidate are sparking investor optimism.

It’s a very rewarding trading day for investors in Kura Oncology Inc (NASDAQ:KURA) with shares up 90%, making the stock Wall Street’s bull of the day. The reason? The drug maker announced positive top-line results from a phase II trial for its lead product candidate Tipifarnib in patients with HRAS mutant relapsed or refractory squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck (HNSCC). Kura reported that the phase II study achieved its primary endpoint prior to the completion of enrollment.

Chief Medical Officer of Kura Antonio Gualberto 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.”

On the ratings front, KURA has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report released yesterday, Cowen analyst Chris Shibutani reiterated a Buy rating on KURA. Separately, Oppenheimer’s Leah R. Cann assigned a Buy rating to the stock and has a price target of $16.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Chris Shibutani and Leah R. Cann have a yearly average return of 20.4% and 17.8% respectively. Shibutani has a success rate of 57% and is ranked #419 out of 4633 analysts, while Cann has a success rate of 78% and is ranked #294.

Kura is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company engages in the research and development of medicines for the treatment of cancer. Its pipeline includes Tipifarnib which is a Farnesyl transferase inhibitor for HRAS Mutant Solid Tumors, Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia; KO-947 which is an ERK inhibitor for MAPK Pathway Tumors; and KO-539 which is a Menin MLL inhibitor for acute leukemias.


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