US-based biopharmaceutical firm Kura Oncology has signed a collaboration agreement with Foundation Medicine to support patient enrolment into its clinical programme of tipifarnib to treat relapsed and/or refractory HRAS mutant squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN).
Tipifarnib is an inhibitor of cell signalling process known as farnesylation that is believed to be involved in cancer initiation and development.
The drug candidate is reported to demonstrate favourable preclinical and clinical activity, as well as durable partial responses in Phase II clinical trial being conducted in SCCHN patients with HRAS mutations.
Kura Oncology president and CEO Troy Wilson said: “Our preliminary data suggests tipifarnib has activity in patients with HRAS mutant squamous cell head and neck cancer, who have failed other treatment options, and we believe Foundation Medicine’s unique expertise and outreach to physicians treating SCCHN patients, in particular, in the community treatment setting fit well with our company’s objectives and values.”
The firms will contact US physicians providing treatment to SCCHN patients who are diagnosed with carrying HRAS mutations in their tumours, to enable recruitment of these patients as potential subjects in the Phase II trial.
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Physicians will be informed of the relevant trial details such as trial patient characteristics and investigational sites.
The agreement is part of Kura Oncology’s strategy to cover broader patient population and will be included under Foundation Medicine’s SmartTrials Precision Enrolment programme.
In addition to the Phase II trial for HRAS mutant SCCHN, tipifarnib is being investigated in various other Phase II clinical trials.
Image: Illustration depicting head and neck cancer. Photo: courtesy of BruceBlaus.