CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 25, 2007--Curis, Inc. (NASDAQ: CRIS), a drug development company focused on seeking to develop proprietary targeted medicines primarily for cancer treatment, today announced a presentation at the 2007 AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics, which is being held at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California.
On October 24, 2007, Curis scientists presented a poster entitled "CUDC-101, a Synthetic and Potent HDAC, EGFR and Her2 Inhibitor, Effectively Inhibits Proliferation of Cancer Cell Lines" during a poster session. This presentation included discussions of a potential mechanism of action and the anticancer properties of CUDC-101, Curis' proprietary small molecule drug candidate that Curis believes is the first single agent under development that simultaneously targets HDAC, EGFR and Her2, three validated cancer targets.
The poster presentation also included data which supports a potential mechanism of action for CUDC-101. Many cancers either display resistance to the marketed EGFR and EGFR/Her2 inhibitors or become resistant with time, which has resulted in continued development efforts to find more effective anticancer drugs. Published third-party data suggests that cancer cells often utilize the Her3, c-MET and Akt survival pathway to escape death from these marketed EGFR or EGFR/Her2 targeted cancer drugs. CUDC-101 represents a potentially important therapeutic advance in that it mechanistically targets EGFR/Her2 and simultaneously appears to overcome resistance to EGFR and/or Her2 inhibition by epigenetically blocking the alternative survival pathway involving Her3, c-MET and Akt. Curis believes that, by synergistically blocking both HDAC and EGFR/Her2 activity, CUDC-101 may provide for the improved killing of cancer cells by rapidly and durably suppressing several intervention points at the same time. Curis data demonstrates improvements in both in vitro anti-proliferation assays and in efficacy measures against various cell lines in xenograft tumors models.
CUDC-101 has a molecular weight of under 450, which is similar to erlotinib (an EGFR inhibitor) and smaller than lapatinib (an EGFR-Her2 inhibitor). CUDC-101 is 5 to 10-fold more potent than SAHA in HDAC inhibition, 10 to 20-fold more potent than erlotinib in EGFR inhibition and demonstrates similar potency to lapatinib in Her2 inhibition. CUDC-101 displays potency improvements ranging from 3 to 20-fold as compared to the combination of an HDAC inhibitor that is concurrently administered with either an EGFR inhibitor or an EGFR/Her2 reference drug. These potency improvements were observed in 27 cell lines of major cancer types including lung, breast, prostate, colon, liver and pancreas. CUDC-101 also inhibits all three targeted pathways in vivo and has been proven efficacious in various mouse xenograft models of human cancer.
"Our data suggests that Curis' lead drug candidate, CUDC-101, may represent a breakthrough in addressing the rapid emergence of drug resistance in cancer patients currently treated with EGFR and EGFR/Her2 inhibitors," Daniel R. Passeri, MSc., J.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, stated. "These preclinical data are encouraging and we look forward to bringing CUDC-101 towards clinical testing."
About Curis, Inc.
Curis is a drug development company that is committed to leveraging its innovative signaling pathway drug technologies to seek to create new medicines, primarily for cancer. In expanding its drug development efforts in the field of cancer through its Targeted Cancer Drug Development Platform, the Company is building upon its previous experiences in targeting signaling pathways in the areas of cancer, neurological disease and cardiovascular disease. For more information, visit 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 that Curis believes that, by blocking both HDAC and EGFR/Her2, CUDC-101 may provide for the improved killing of cancer cells by rapidly and durably suppressing several intervention points and that CUDC-101 may represent a breakthrough in cancer therapy. 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 factors that may cause the Company's 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 and its strategic collaborators' and licensees' product development programs, including without limitation its Hedgehog pathway antagonist program currently under a Phase I cohort expansion clinical trial with Genentech and its preclinical Targeted Cancer Drug Development Platform programs, including CUDC-101; -- difficulties or delays in obtaining or maintaining required regulatory approvals ; -- the Company's ability to obtain or maintain intellectual property protection necessary for the development and commercialization of products based on its technologies; -- changes in, or the Company's inability to execute, its business plan; -- the risk that Curis does not obtain the additional funding required to conduct research and development of its product candidates and execute its business plan; -- 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; -- risks relating to the Company's ability to enter into and maintain important strategic collaborations, and the risk that its current and future collaborators and licensees will not perform adequately, including its current collaborations with Genentech and Wyeth; -- competitive pressures; and -- other risk factors identified in the Company's most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and its other 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. The Company 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.
CONTACT: Curis, Inc.
Michael P. Gray, 617-503-6632
CFO & COO
SOURCE: Curis, Inc.