Kura Oncology Appoints Brian Powl as Chief Commercial Officer

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 14, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —  Kura Oncology, Inc. (Nasdaq: KURA), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to realizing the promise of precision medicines for the treatment of cancer, today announced the appointment of Brian Powl as Chief Commercial Officer. Mr. Powl joins Kura with more than 20 years of experience in building commercial brands in hematology and oncology, with a focus on developing and executing patient-focused strategies across sales, marketing and market access for global biotech and pharmaceutical products.

“Brian is an accomplished leader with a strong track record in building successful commercial organizations and driving global commercial product launches,” said Troy Wilson, Ph.D., J.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Kura Oncology. “Based on the strength of our clinical data and the continued pace of enrollment in our ongoing KOMET-001 registration-enabling trial, we believe our menin inhibitor ziftomenib can become a transformational therapy in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). We look forward to Brian joining our executive leadership team and working with him to realize the significant potential value of ziftomenib as well as our farnesyl transferase inhibitor (FTI) programs.”

Mr. Powl has more than two decades of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, including extensive global experience in hematologic malignancies. Most recently, he served as Chief Commercial Officer for Fate Therapeutics, where he led the commercialization efforts for the company’s oncology and immunology portfolio. Previously, Mr. Powl was Senior Vice President, Commercial Development & Marketing at MEI Pharma, Inc., where he led the commercialization efforts of a late-stage small molecule program in B-cell malignancies. Earlier in his career, Mr. Powl held positions of increasing responsibility at Celgene Corporation including Vice President, Global Commercial CAR T lead, where he led the commercialization efforts of ABECMA® and BREYANZI®, led ex-U.S. commercial operations, and served as the Global Marketing lead for Celgene’s flagship multiple myeloma franchise during the life cycle expansion of REVLIMID® and POMALYST® into new markets and indications while strengthening the pipeline of products in myeloma. Prior to Celgene, Mr. Powl held sales and marketing positions at Novartis Oncology and Centocor, Inc. Mr. Powl holds a BS in Biochemistry from the University of California, San Diego and an MBA in Healthcare Management/Marketing from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

“I’m excited to join the exceptional team at Kura at this pivotal time for the company as we build a commercial organization to realize the potential of ziftomenib for patients with AML,” said Mr. Powl. “With significant milestones on the horizon for the Company’s menin inhibitor and FTI programs, I look forward to leading the commercial efforts, in an effort to advance Kura’s mission and deliver novel therapeutics in areas of unmet patient need.”

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. Ziftomenib is a once-daily, oral drug candidate targeting the menin-KMT2A protein-protein interaction for the treatment of genetically defined AML patients with high unmet need. Kura is currently enrolling patients in a Phase 2 registration-directed trial of ziftomenib in NPM1-mutant relapsed or refractory AML (KOMET-001). The Company is also conducting a series of studies to evaluate ziftomenib in combination with current standards of care, beginning with venetoclax/azacitidine and standard induction cytarabine/daunorubicin chemotherapy in NPM1-mutant and KMT2A-rearranged newly diagnosed and relapsed/refractory AML (KOMET-007). Tipifarnib, a potent and selective FTI, is currently in a Phase 1/2 trial in combination with alpelisib for patients with PIK3CA-dependent HNSCC (KURRENT-HN). Kura is also preparing to evaluate KO-2806, a next-generation FTI, in a Phase 1 dose-escalation trial as a monotherapy and in combination with other targeted therapies, beginning with ccRCC (FIT-001). For additional information, please visit Kura’s website at www.kuraoncology.com and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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 ziftomenib, potential benefits of combining ziftomenib with appropriate standards of care, and progress and expected timing of the ziftomenib program 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, applications and other interactions with regulatory bodies, 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 (SEC), including the Company’s Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2023 filed with the SEC on August 9, 2023, 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.


Pete De Spain
Executive Vice President, Investor Relations &
Corporate Communications
(858) 500-8833

Alexandra Weingarten
Senior Manager, Corporate Communications
(858) 500-8822


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