Kura Oncology Inc (NASDAQ:KURA) is soaring in mid-afternoon trading today, currently up $6.00 and sitting at $12.90 – a whopping 88 percent higher than yesterday’s closing price. After the closing bell yesterday, the company released positive Phase 2 clinical data for its HRAS Mutant Head and Neck Cancer drug, called Tipifarnib.
More than 17.3 million shares of Kura have been traded so far today, up from the stock’s average volume of just 174,000 per day.
The therapy, which is currently Kura’s lead product candidate, managed to achieve the study’s primary endpoint in patients with HRAS mutant relapsed or refractory squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck (HNSCC). Of the first six evaluable patients enrolled in the Phase 2 program, researchers have confirmed four partial responses and two participants with disease stabilization. The primary endpoint was four out of 18 total patients.
On top of that, objective responses of more than a year in duration have been reported in two of the patients being observed. All of the participants who were enrolled in the program had previously been treated with other cancer therapies – including cetuximab, immune therapy and chemotherapy. More patients will continue to join the trial, according to Kura, meaning that the primary endpoint was achieved before the study was fully enrolled.
“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 the company’s Chief Medical Officer, Antonio Gualberto, MD, PhD. “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.”
More data is expected to be made public at upcoming oncology meetings.
The author of this article holds no stock in any of the companies mentioned above.