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BMP-7 Reduces Inflammation and Improves Blood Flow in Models of Kidney Disease; Study Indicates Novel Mechanism for Treatment of Kidney Disorders
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan 31, 2002 (BW HealthWire) -- Findings published by Gould et al. in the recent issue of Kidney International indicates that Bone Morphogenic Protein-7 (also known as BMP-7 or OP-1) inhibits the expression of factors that promote inflammation and stimulates synthesis of other factors that promote blood flow within the kidney. BMP-7, which is being developed by Curis, Inc. (NASDAQ: CRIS) for the treatment of kidney disease, had previously demonstrated increased survival rates and improved recovery times in several animal models of acute and chronic kidney disease.

The recent study provides evidence of a unique mechanism of action by which BMP-7 promotes recovery and reduces injury associated with kidney disorders. The study suggests that BMP-7 reduces damage by limiting the inflammatory cascade and subsequent fibrosis that follows the initial injury by reducing the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. At the same time BMP-7 maintains and enhances renal blood flow through increased expression of vasodilators and reduced expression of receptors for vasoconstrictors. In an editorial accompanying the publication of these findings, Dr. Jeffrey Kopp of the Kidney Disease Section of the National Institutes of Health states "These effects may explain some of the beneficial effects of BMP-7 on tubular (kidney) cell injury seen in animals models."

"These findings provide additional validation of Curis' belief that BMP-7 may represent the next significant advance in the treatment of kidney disease," said Daniel R. Passeri, President and Chief Executive Officer of Curis. "The coupling of this mechanistic study to the already large body of preclinical efficacy data should accelerate the pace of development and increase the visibility of Curis' Renal Therapeutics Program within the kidney medical community."

The BMP family of proteins, including BMP-7, constitute one of the major developmental pathways used by the body to form tissues and organs in early development and then later used by the adult body to promote tissue maintenance, regeneration, and repair. Curis' partner, Stryker Corporation, attained marketing approval for BMP-7/OP-1 for use in bone regeneration in Europe and Australia and limited humanitarian use in bone regeneration in the United States. Beyond BMP-7's use in bone and kidney disorders, Curis is also pursuing the use of BMPs in the treatment of certain central nervous system disorders. Curis has a significant intellectual property position in the BMP field, based on an extensive patent portfolio involving rights to BMP compositions of matter, fields of medical use, numerous methodologies associated with BMPs.

    About Curis, Inc.
Curis, Inc. is developing products based on technologies in the emerging field of regenerative medicine. The Company is combining insights gained through the study of developmental biology with high-throughput screening capabilities, proteins, cells and biocompatible materials to facilitate the development of new regenerative medicine therapies. For more information, please visit the Curis web site at www.curis.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve factors that may cause Curis' actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Specifically, by way of example and without limitation, some of the statements in this release and their achievement are subject to a number of factors including: Curis' ability to enter into a suitable partnership to develop BMP-7 to treat kidney disease; Curis' inability to devote sufficient resources to the development of BMP-7 for this indication; the possibility that a competitor may be able to develop a compound that is more efficacious than BMP-7 for this indication; and other risk factors described from time to time in Curis' periodic reports and registration statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, without limitation, Curis' Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2000 filed on March 30, 2001 and the Company's Post Effective Amendment No. 1 on Form S-3 to the Registration Statement on Form S-1 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on August 10, 2001. Curis cannot guarantee any future results, levels of activity, performance, or achievements. Moreover, neither Curis nor anyone else assumes responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of any forward-looking statements. Curis undertakes no obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this press release.

CONTACT:          For Curis, Inc.                                      
                  Henry W. McCusker                                
                  617-503-6641                                     
                  or                                              
                  For Noonan/Russo Communications                  
                  Renee Connolly (212) 696-4455 x 227 (media)      
                  Sharon Weinstein (212) 696-4455 x 334 (investor) 

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