SAN DIEGO, Aug. 25, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Kura Oncology, Inc. (Nasdaq: KURA), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of precision medicines for the treatment of cancer, today announced the appointment of Stephen Dale, M.D., as Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Dale joins Kura most recently from Kyowa Kirin, where he served as Senior Vice President and Global Head of Medical Science with a primary focus in oncology.
“I am delighted that Stephen is joining Kura to lead our clinical development organization,” said Troy Wilson, Ph.D., J.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Kura Oncology. “His extensive background in medical oncology, including the successful development of multiple targeted therapies coupled with his leadership skills and experience at leading late-stage drug development teams, will be invaluable as we continue to advance the development of tipifarnib in HRAS-dependent head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and KO-539 in acute myeloid leukemia (AML).”
Dr. Dale is a recognized R&D leader with expertise in oncology and immuno-oncology across both early and late-stage clinical development. As Global Head of Medical Sciences for Kyowa Kirin, he was responsible for pan-therapy areas, including Oncology, Neuroscience, Immunology and Rare Diseases, and was a significant contributor to both FDA and EMA approvals in oncology and neurosciences. Previously, he held a series of roles of increasing responsibility at AstraZeneca, most recently as Global Clinical Vice President and Clinical Head of Oncology – GMed, where he oversaw the development of Tagrisso® (osimertinib) for metastatic EGFR-T790M mutation-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). He also worked with the Iressa® (gefitinib) team on the IPASS study in patients with EGFR activating mutations, which evoked a paradigm shift in the way NSCLC is treated. Dr. Dale earned his MD from the University of Manchester Medical School.
“I’m delighted to join Kura and truly honored to serve the organization as Chief Medical Officer,” said Dr. Dale. “I’m highly impressed with their proven scientific rigor and commitment to bringing new cancer medicines to patients in areas of high unmet medical need. This is an exciting time for the company, with the registration-directed study of tipifarnib well underway, the potential to expand the utility of tipifarnib into HRAS and PI3K-dependent head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) as well as preliminary data from the emerging menin inhibitor program, KO-539, in AML anticipated later this year. I look forward to working with this talented team to drive these clinical programs through registration-directed trials and potential regulatory approval.”
Bridget Martell, M.A., M.D., Kura’s acting Chief Medical Officer, will transition to the role of Senior Scientific Advisor, where she will continue to advise Kura on initiatives in research and development and corporate strategy.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Bridget for stepping up and leading the clinical development organization as acting Chief Medical Officer through this period of transition,” continued Dr. Wilson. “She has been instrumental in positioning both tipifarnib and KO-539 for success in the clinic and I am pleased that we will continue to benefit from her experience and leadership going forward.”
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 two wholly owned 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 most advanced drug candidate is tipifarnib, a potent, selective and orally bioavailable farnesyl transferase inhibitor currently in a registration-directed trial (AIM-HN) in patients with recurrent or metastatic HRAS mutant HNSCC. The Company’s pipeline is also highlighted by KO-539, a potent and selective inhibitor of the menin-KMT2A(MLL) protein-protein interaction currently in a Phase 1/2A clinical trial (KOMET-001) in patients with relapsed/refractory AML. 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. 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.
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Robert H. Uhl
Westwicke Partners, LLC