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Kura Oncology Expands Protection for Tipifarnib with New U.S. and European Patents

SAN DIEGO, July 11, 2019 (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 that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued and the European Patent Office has granted new patents further protecting the Company's lead drug candidate, tipifarnib, a potent and selective farnesyl transferase inhibitor. Tipifarnib is currently being studied in multiple solid tumor and hematologic indications, including a registration-directed clinical trial in HRAS mutant head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).

The newly issued U.S. patents are as follows:

  • U.S. Patent No. 10,335,404 includes multiple claims directed to a method of treating patients with HRAS mutant HNSCC consisting of administering any farnesyl transferase inhibitor; and
     
  • U.S. Patent No. 10,292,979 includes multiple claims directed to the use of tipifarnib as a method of treating patients with HRAS mutant non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC).

In addition, the newly granted European patent is as follows:

  • European Patent No. 3277842 includes multiple claims directed to the use of tipifarnib as a method of treating patients with HRAS mutant HNSCC.

Each of the patents has an expiration date of August 2036, excluding any possible patent term extension.

“Along with advancing the development of tipifarnib in multiple, biomarker-defined patient populations, securing robust intellectual property protection to provide commercial exclusivity in major commercial markets is an important part of our overall corporate strategy,” said Troy Wilson, Ph.D., President and CEO of Kura Oncology. “In this regard, we are pleased to announce new U.S. and European patents that cover the treatment of HRAS mutant HNSCC and NSCLC patients as well as the issuance of a first U.S. patent that extends our patent exclusivity to the use of any farnesyl transferase inhibitor for the treatment of HRAS mutant HNSCC patients. We believe these patents strengthen our competitive advantage as we continue to advance the development of tipifarnib, and we intend to continue to aggressively pursue additional intellectual property protection, both in the U.S. and abroad.”

Kura’s intellectual property estate comprises multiple patent families with issued or pending claims related to the use of tipifarnib as well as claims directed to the use of any farnesyl transferase inhibitor in biomarker-defined patient populations. In 2018, the USPTO issued separate patents for tipifarnib as a method of treating patients with certain CXCL12-expressing cancers and as a method of treating patients with angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma, an aggressive form of T-cell lymphoma often characterized by high levels of CXCL12 expression. The newly issued patents further expand protection for tipifarnib, with counterpart patents beginning to issue in 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 of tipifarnib in recurrent or metastatic patients with HRAS mutant HNSCC. In addition, tipifarnib is being evaluated in multiple other Phase 2 clinical trials in solid tumor and hematologic indications. Kura’s pipeline also includes KO-947, an ERK inhibitor, and KO-539, a menin-MLL inhibitor. For additional information about Kura, please visit the Company’s website at www.kuraoncology.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

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, the efficacy, safety and therapeutic potential of Kura’s product candidate tipifarnib, and progress and expected timing of Kura’s drug development programs and clinical trials. 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 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," "anticipates," "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 assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Contacts

Company:
Pete De Spain
Vice President, Investor Relations &
Corporate Communications
(858) 500-8803
pete@kuraoncology.com

Investors:
Robert H. Uhl
Managing Director
Westwicke Partners, LLC
(858) 356-5932
robert.uhl@westwicke.com

Media:
Jason Spark
Managing Director
Canale Communications
(619) 849-6005
jason@canalecomm.com