Healthcare Industry News: Ortho Biotech
News Release - May 23, 2006
Topical Hedgehog Agonist Accelerates Wound Healing in DiabetesPreclinical Data Published in Circulation
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--May 23, 2006--Curis, Inc. (NASDAQ: CRIS ), a therapeutic drug development company, today announced the publication of preclinical data in the journal Circulation, showing that topical Sonic Hedgehog gene therapy accelerated wound healing in an animal model of diabetes. This beneficial effect appeared to involve the enhanced mobilization of blood vessel-forming progenitor cells from the bone marrow to the wound site, whose presence was interpreted as helping to explain the increased blood supply observed within the healing wound. The paper, "Topical sonic hedgehog gene therapy accelerates wound healing in diabetes by enhancing endothelial progenitor cell-mediated microvascular remodeling", was authored by Douglas W. Losordo and others from St. Elizabeth's Medical Center in Boston as part of a collaboration with Curis. This publication expands on the data presented May 2005 at the 66th Annual Meeting of the Society for Investigative Dermatology.
"This paper provides a proof-of-concept demonstration that therapeutic activation of the Hedgehog pathway could potentially be used to treat wounds in people suffering from diabetes, which is a large and growing market where current treatments are inadequate," said Daniel R. Passeri, President and Chief Executive Officer.
About the Hedgehog Agonist Program
The Hedgehog agonist program was exclusively licensed to Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in February 2004. Under the terms of the license agreement, Curis retained the right to develop Hedgehog agonists for topical treatment to stimulate hair growth. The license agreement was subsequently amended to broaden Curis' development rights to include topical applications to treat or prevent skin diseases or disorders. In both instances, Wyeth must approve any compound that Curis will develop under its retained development rights. In December 2004, Wyeth approved a group of Hedgehog agonist compounds for use in Curis' retained programs. Curis licensed the Hedgehog agonist technology to Procter & Gamble for the development and commercialization of topical dermatological and hair growth products. This new report suggests that the Hedgehog agonists may be useful for development in a wound healing program. Curis retained rights to this indication for veterinary use and Procter & Gamble has rights to use the Hedgehog agonists for wound healing under its topical dermatological rights.
According to the American Diabetes Association, there are 20.8 million children and adults in the United States, or 7% of the population, who have diabetes. Diabetes is a group of diseases marked by high levels of blood glucose resulting from defects in insulin production, insulin action, or both. Diabetes can lead to serious complications and premature death, but people with diabetes can take steps to control the disease and lower the risk of complications.
About Curis, Inc.
Curis, Inc. is a therapeutic drug development company. The Company's technology focus is on regulatory pathways that control repair and regeneration. Curis' product development involves the use of proteins or small molecules to modulate these pathways. Curis has successfully used this technology and product development approach to produce several promising drug product candidates in the fields of cancer (under two collaborations with Genentech, one of which includes a co-development arrangement for a basal cell carcinoma product candidate that is currently in a Phase I clinical trials), neurological disorders (under collaboration with Wyeth), hair growth (under collaboration with Procter & Gamble), kidney and other diseases (licensed to Ortho Biotech Products and under development at Centocor, both subsidiaries of Johnson & Johnson), and cardiovascular disease. For more information, please visit the Curis web site at www.curis.com.
Cautionary Statement: This press release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements used in this press release may contain the words "believes", "expects", "anticipates", "plans", "seeks", "estimates" or similar expressions. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors that may cause Curis' actual results to be materially different from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. For a discussion of the key risks and uncertainties affecting Curis' business, please refer to Curis' most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and subsequent reports periodically filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, any forward-looking statements represent the Company's views only as of today and should not be relied upon as representing its views as of any subsequent date. Curis disclaims any intention or obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this press release whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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