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Curis Announces U.S. Patent Issuance Covering HSP90 Inhibitor Debio 0932

LEXINGTON, Mass., Dec. 6, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Curis, Inc. (Nasdaq:CRIS), a drug development company seeking to develop next generation targeted small molecule drug candidates for cancer treatment, today announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a patent covering a genus of compounds that includes Debio 0932, an orally-administered Heat Shock Protein 90 (HSP90) inhibitor, which is being developed by Curis' licensee Debiopharm. The newly issued patent, U.S. Patent Number 8,324,240, is entitled "Fused Amino Pyridine as HSP90 Inhibitors."

"We believe that this patent issuance recognizes the novelty of Debio 0932, a molecule that was invented internally by Curis scientists," stated Dan Passeri, Curis' President and Chief Executive Officer. "We have been pleased with Debiopharm's development efforts and the clinical data generated to-date. We look forward to additional data from this promising molecule, as Debiopharm is currently testing Debio 0932 in a Phase I/II clinical trial in combination with chemotherapy in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) as well as in a Phase Ib clinical study in patients with solid tumors, including NSCLC. Debiopharm also intends to initiate a separate Phase I/II clinical trial with Debio 0932 in combination with Everolimus in patients with renal cell carcinoma in the second half of 2013."

About Debio 0932

HSP90 is a chaperone protein that controls the folding and processing of certain client proteins. HSP90 clients include many proteins that drive tumour development and progression, such as EGFR, HER2, c-MET, AKT, KIT, FLT3, and VEGFR. Inhibition of HSP90 leads to degradation of client proteins targeting multiple oncogenic signaling pathways.

Debio 0932 is an oral second-generation HSP90 inhibitor, which has shown extended tumour retention, blood-brain-barrier penetration, and promising anti-tumour activity both as monotherapy and in combination against a broad range of tumours in pre-clinical models. Debiopharm presented data from the dose escalation portion of an ongoing Phase I clinical trial study at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in June 2012. Debio 0932 was generally well tolerated in this study and showed promising signs of anti-tumour activity in patients with advanced solid tumours, especially lung cancer.

In preclinical testing Debio 0932 demonstrated potent anti-proliferative activity against a broad range of cancer cell lines, including many NSCLC cell lines which are resistant to SOC agents. Debio 0932 potently inhibits tumor growth in subcutaneous xenograft models of a number of solid and hematological malignancies, including models of NSCLC which harbor mutations conferring acquired or primary erlotinib resistance. Furthermore, Debio 0932 is able to extend animal survival in models of brain metastasis due to its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, and it enhances the activity of several standard-of-care agents in animal models of cancer.

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 targeted small molecule drug candidates for cancer. Curis is building upon its previous experiences in targeting signaling pathways, including in the Hedgehog pathway, in its effort to develop proprietary targeted cancer programs. For more information, visit Curis' website at www.curis.com.

The Curis, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=11347

Curis Cautionary Statement: This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including without limitation statements regarding Curis' expectations for additional clinical data for Debio 0932.  Forward-looking statements used in this press release may contain the words "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "plans," "seeks," "estimates," "assumes," "will," "may," "could" 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 actual results to be materially different from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. For example, Debiopharm may not be able to successfully complete its ongoing clinical trials or begin its planned clinical trial of Debio 0932, or may otherwise experience delays, setbacks and failures in its clinical development of Debio 0932 including the potential for Debio 0932 to cause unexpected toxicitiesand/or fail to demonstrate sufficient safety and efficacy. Curis and its partners may not obtain or maintain necessary patent protection for its programs and could become involved in expensive and time consuming patent litigation and interference proceedings. Curis and its partners face substantial competition from other companies developing cancer therapeutics. Unstable market and economic conditions may adversely affect Curis' financial conditions and its ability to access capital to fund the growth of its business. Curis also faces other important risks relating to its business, operations, financial condition and future prospects that are discussed in its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2012 and other filings that it periodically makes with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

In addition, any forward-looking statements represent the views of Curis only as of today and should not be relied upon as representing Curis' 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.

CONTACT: For More Information:

         Michael P. Gray

         Chief Financial Officer

         Curis, Inc.

         617-503-6632

         mgray@curis.com


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