Ash 2020 – Kura looks to take on Syndax

With its lead project tipifarnib looking pretty elderly, Kura Oncology will have been relieved with data presented at Ash on Saturday suggesting that its oral menin inhibitor KO-539 has potential in acute myeloid leukaemia. The phase I Komet-001 study enrolled 12 patients with advanced AML who had received a median three prior therapies. The Ash dataset covered eight of these patients, two of whom had complete response. These occurred in NPM1-mutant patients, suggesting this as another biomarker-based treatment in AML; a third NPM1 mutant was not evaluable for efficacy at the data cut. Kura expects to find a phase II dose in the first quarter of 2021, at which point it will expand into cohorts in NPM1-mutant patients and those with KMT2A/MLL rearrangements, the populations in which Kura believes KO‑539 could show “pronounced clinical benefit”. NPM1 mutations occur in around 30% of people with AML. The only other menin inhibitor in clinical development is Syndax Pharmaceuticals’ SNDX-5613: this has higher consensus sales forecasts than KO-539, but given the Ash data this situation might change. As for Kura itself, its stock was up 5% this morning.

MRD = measurable residual disease. Source: Dr Eunice Wang & Ash.

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