In a June 14 research note, H.C. Wainwright & Co. analyst Joseph Pantginis reported that Kura Oncology Inc. (KURA:NASDAQ) met the endpoint in its Phase 2 clinical trial of tipifarnib in patients with peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL) and just released "positive" study results.
"These data are crucial in progressing Kura's clinical goal of deploying tipifarnib in targeted cancer populations showing defined biomarkers, hence, supporting a personalized targeted cancer approach in oncology with improved chances of success," Pantginis commented.
He summarized the key findings. The data suggest that in angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL), a "high-frequency mutation in the KIR3DL2 allele could forecast a complete response event following tipifarnib therapy," he wrote.
Enhanced responses, such as a 47% overall rate response and an 82% clinical benefit rate, were seen in the PTCL patients who had a high CXCL12:CXCR4 ratio expression.
Clinical activity overall is "promising," Pantginis noted. For example, in the expansion cohorts, results showed a 45% overall response rate in AITL and a 42% overall response rate in CXCL12+.
The new data confirmed the safety profile noted in previous readouts.
Kura has presented these results at the annual European Hematology Association meeting on June 17. It also will deliver new data showing a correlation between the clinical outcome of tipifarnib and a high expression of CXCL12 in other hematology/oncology indications, such as mycosis fungoides and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.
As for upcoming tipifarnib-related catalysts, additional data are expected this year, from the Phase 2 trials in head and neck and other squamous cell carcinomas and in chronic myelomonocytic leukemia.
About the drug, Pantginis concluded, "Kura's patient targeting strategy should increase tipifarnib's market footing in multiple tumor indications using relevant biomarkers."
H.C. Wainwright has a Buy rating and a $31 per share price target on Kura, whose stock is trading today at around $18.30 per share.[NLINSERT]
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Disclosures from H. C. Wainwright, Kura Oncology Inc., Company Update, June 14, 2019
Investment Banking Services include, but are not limited to, acting as a manager/co-manager in the underwriting or placement of securities, acting as financial advisor, and/or providing corporate finance or capital markets-related services to a company or one of its affiliates or subsidiaries within the past 12 months.
I, Joseph Pantginis, Ph.D., certify that 1) all of the views expressed in this report accurately reflect my personal views about any and all subject securities or issuers discussed; and 2) no part of my compensation was, is, or will be directly or indirectly related to the specific recommendation or views expressed in this research report; and 3) neither myself nor any members of my household is an officer, director or advisory board member of these companies.
None of the research analysts or the research analyst's household has a financial interest in the securities of Kura Oncology, Inc. (including, without limitation, any option, right, warrant, future, long or short position).
As of May 31, 2019 neither the Firm nor its affiliates beneficially own 1% or more of any class of common equity securities Kura Oncology, Inc.
Neither the research analyst nor the Firm has any material conflict of interest in of which the research analyst knows or has reason to know at the time of publication of this research report.
The research analyst principally responsible for preparation of the report does not receive compensation that is based upon any specific investment banking services or transaction but is compensated based on factors including total revenue and profitability of the Firm, a substantial portion of which is derived from investment banking services.
The Firm or its affiliates did not receive compensation from Kura Oncology, Inc. for investment banking services within twelve months before, but will seek compensation from the companies mentioned in this report for investment banking services within three months following publication of the research report.
The Firm does not make a market in Kura Oncology, Inc. as of the date of this research report.
H.C. Wainwright & Co., LLC and its affiliates, officers, directors, and employees, excluding its analysts, will from time to time have long or short positions in, act as principal in, and buy or sell, the securities or derivatives (including options and warrants) thereof of covered companies referred to in this research report.