Healthcare Industry News: Curis
News Release - March 10, 2008
Curis Announces Conclusion of Hedgehog Agonist Collaboration with WyethCompany to Seek New Partner for Development Program
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Curis, Inc. (NASDAQ: CRIS ), a drug development company focused on developing novel targeted medicines primarily for cancer treatment, today announced that Wyeth has decided that it will no longer pursue its development efforts on the Hedgehog agonist program and will terminate the January 2004 collaboration agreement with Curis. Research efforts under the collaboration have focused on the preclinical development of small molecule and protein Hedgehog agonists, primarily for stroke and cardiovascular indications. Pursuant to the agreement, the collaboration will conclude on May 6, 2008.
“While we are disappointed in Wyeth’s decision to conclude our collaboration, we believe that significant progress has been made on the Hedgehog agonist program through our research with Wyeth. We remain hopeful about the future prospects of the Hedgehog agonist as a potential therapeutic for various diseases and we will seek a new partner to continue advancing this program. Our internal data and third party publications suggest that Hedgehog agonists may provide therapeutic benefit in several disease areas, including neurological, cardiovascular and bone disorders, as well as for wound healing and hair growth,” said Daniel R. Passeri, President and Chief Executive Officer of Curis. “Our focus remains on our core cancer assets and we expect to achieve several key upcoming milestones for these programs, including Genentech’s initiation of Phase II testing of our Hedgehog systemic antagonist in one or more solid tumor indications in 2008 and a near-term IND application for our proprietary targeted cancer drug candidate CUDC-101, a potentially first-in-class small molecule inhibitor of EGFR, Her2 and HDAC.”
About the Wyeth Collaboration
In January 2004, Curis entered into a collaboration agreement with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals under which Curis licensed its Hedgehog protein and novel small molecule Hedgehog pathway agonists to Wyeth. Wyeth paid Curis an up-front license fee and provided research funding through February 2008. Wyeth and Curis had been researching Hedgehog agonists for use in the treatment of stroke and cardiovascular disease under this collaboration.
About Curis, Inc.
Curis is a drug development company that is committed to leveraging the innovative signaling pathway drug technologies to seek to create new medicines, primarily for cancer. In expanding the drug development efforts in the field of cancer through the Targeted Cancer Drug Development Platform, the Company is building upon the previous experiences in targeting signaling pathways in the areas of cancer, neurological disease and cardiovascular disease. For more information, visit the website at www.curis.com.
Cautionary Statement: This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including without limitation: the Company’s plans to seek to re-partner its Hedgehog agonist program, its expectations about the potential therapeutic benefits of its Hedgehog agonist technologies, its plans to file an IND application for CUDC-101 in the coming weeks and to advance additional preclinical development candidates in 2008, and its expectations regarding the progress of its program under collaboration with Genentech. Forward-looking statements used in this press release may contain the words “believes”, “expects”, “anticipates”, “plans”, “seeks”, “estimates”, “will”, “may” or similar expressions. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other important factors that may cause the actual results to be materially different from those indicated by such forward-looking statements including, among other things:
- adverse results, delays and/or failures in the Company’s internal and collaborative product development programs, including without limitation adverse events, difficulties with patient enrollment and other unplanned delays in the Hedgehog pathway antagonist program currently under clinical development by Genentech, and unplanned delays and/or failures in the Company’s efforts to advance CUDC-101 and the other programs under its targeted cancer drug development platform;
- difficulties or delays in obtaining or maintaining required regulatory approvals for products being developed by the Company internally and through its collaboration with Genentech;
- Curis’ ability to obtain or maintain the patent and other proprietary intellectual property protection necessary for the development and commercialization of products based on its technologies;
- changes in, or Curis’ inability to execute, its business plan;
- the risk that the Company does not obtain the substantial additional funding required to conduct research and development of its product candidates;
- unplanned cash requirements and expenditures which, among other things, could shorten the estimated period in which the Company will have cash to fund its operations and which could also adversely affect the Company's estimated operating expenses for 2008 and beyond;
- risks relating to the Company’s ability to enter into and maintain important strategic collaborations, and the risk that current and future collaborators will not perform adequately;
- competitive pressures; and
- other risk factors identified in the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the Quarter ended September 30, 2007 and other filings that the Company periodically makes with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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