Company strengthens leadership team to support pre-commercial efforts and launch optimization
SAN DIEGO, Jan. 06, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Kura Oncology, Inc. (KURA), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of precision medicines for the treatment of cancer, today announced the appointment of Kirsten Flowers as Chief Commercial Officer. Ms. Flowers joins Kura most recently from Array Biopharma, where she served as head of commercial operations until the completion of its $11.4 billion acquisition by Pfizer in July 2019.
“Kirsten is a world-class leader in building successful commercial organizations and launching precision medicines for the treatment of cancer,” said Troy Wilson, Ph.D., J.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Kura Oncology. “With our ongoing AIM-HN pivotal trial and our positive regulatory feedback on a second registration-directed study in AITL, we believe tipifarnib can become a meaningful franchise in both HRAS mutant solid tumors and CXCL12-pathway dependent cancers. We are delighted to welcome Kirsten, who is ideally suited to help lay the foundation and build the commercial capabilities required for sustainable, long-term growth of our company.”
Ms. Flowers brings extensive commercial experience leading top-performing oncology product launches at large pharmaceutical and biotechnology organizations. Most recently, she served as Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations at Array Biopharma, where she built and led the commercial organization that delivered the successful launch of Braftovi® + Mektovi® for patients with BRAF-mutant melanoma in the U.S. Previously, she held various commercial leadership roles at Pfizer, including serving as the U.S. commercial lead for the launch of the blockbuster drug IBRANCE® in breast cancer and for the launch of INLYTA® in renal cell carcinoma. She began her career at Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals. Ms. Flowers earned her MBA from Harvard Business School and her BS in Molecular & Cellular Biology and Psychology from the University of Arizona.
“Kura is an exciting company with significant potential to serve patients,” said Ms. Flowers. “I am impressed by the company’s patient-focused culture, the strength of its leadership, the clinical development program for tipifarnib in both HRAS mutant solid tumors and CXCL12-driven indications, and the emerging pipeline of drug candidates. I look forward to joining this talented team to build a commercial organization to help bring important new targeted therapies to patients with cancer.”
Kura Oncology’s lead drug candidate, tipifarnib, is a potent, selective and orally bioavailable inhibitor of farnesyl transferase in-licensed from Janssen in December 2014. Previously, tipifarnib was studied in more than 5,000 cancer patients and showed compelling and durable anti-cancer activity in certain patient subsets; however, no molecular mechanism of action had been determined that could explain its clinical activity across a range of solid tumor and hematologic indications. Leveraging advances in next generation sequencing as well as emerging information about cancer genetics and tumor biology, the Company is seeking to identify those patients most likely to benefit from tipifarnib. Tipifarnib has been granted Fast Track designation by the FDA for the treatment of patients with HRAS mutant HNSCC. Kura has received multiple issued patents for tipifarnib, providing patent exclusivity in the U.S. and foreign countries.
About Kura Oncology
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. Kura’s lead drug candidate is tipifarnib, a farnesyl transferase inhibitor, for which the Company is conducting a registration-directed trial in patients with recurrent or metastatic HRAS mutant HNSCC and plans to conduct a second registration-directed trial in patients with relapsed or refractory AITL and related lymphomas. Kura’s pipeline also includes KO-947, an ERK inhibitor, and KO-539, a menin-MLL inhibitor, both of which are currently in Phase 1 dose-escalation trials. For additional information about Kura, please visit the Company’s website at www.kuraoncology.com.
This news release contains certain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to be materially different from historical results or from any future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements include statements regarding, among other things, Kura’s potential for growth and the projected timing for full enrollment of the AIM-HN trial. Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially include the risk that compounds that appeared promising in early research or clinical trials do not demonstrate safety and/or efficacy in later preclinical studies or clinical trials, the risk that Kura Oncology may not obtain approval to market its product candidates, uncertainties associated with performing clinical trials, regulatory filings and applications, risks associated with reliance on third parties to successfully conduct clinical trials, the risks associated with reliance on outside financing to meet capital requirements, and other risks associated with the process of discovering, developing and commercializing drugs that are safe and effective for use as human therapeutics, and in the endeavor of building a business around such drugs. You are urged to consider statements that include the words “may,” “will,” “would,” “could,” “should,” “believes,” “estimates,” “projects,” “promise,” “potential,” “expects,” “plans,” “anticipated,” “intends,” “continues,” “designed,” “goal,” or the negative of those words or other comparable words to be uncertain and forward-looking. For a further list and description of the risks and uncertainties the company faces, please refer to the company’s periodic and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which are available at www.sec.gov. Such forward-looking statements are current only as of the date they are made, and Kura Oncology assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Pete De Spain
Vice President, Investor Relations &
Robert H. Uhl
Westwicke Partners, LLC