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
For Noonan/Russo Communications
Renee Connolly (212) 696-4455 x 227 (media)
Sharon Weinstein (212) 696-4455 x 334 (investor)