CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 28, 2003--Curis, Inc.
today announced that it has been issued a U.S. patent claiming a method for promoting hair growth through the use of agonists (activators) of the Hedgehog signaling pathway. U.S. patent 6,639,051, issued today, is entitled "Regulation of Epithelial Tissue by Hedgehog-like Polypeptides and Formulations and Uses Related Thereto."
The Hedgehog signaling pathway is one of the major regulatory mechanisms responsible for the development and maintenance of many tissues and biological systems in the body. One of those biological systems involves the hair follicles and the stimulation and maintenance of hair growth. Curis is using the Hedgehog signaling pathway as a technology platform to develop drug candidates to treat several different kinds of diseases, including hair growth disorders.
Usually hair loss is not caused by a disease, but is genetic. Inherited hair loss or "pattern baldness" can affect both men and women but is more common in men. According to the National Institutes of Health, about 25% of men begin to bald by the time they are 30 years old, and about two-thirds are either bald or have a balding pattern by age 60. Hair loss can also occur as a result of cytotoxic drugs and procedures, such as chemotherapy.
Dr. Lee Rubin, Curis' Chief Scientific Officer, said, "The Hedgehog signaling pathway is normally activated by the interaction of Hedgehog proteins with their receptors. One of Curis' most important scientific advances of the last several years has been the discovery and development of small molecule Hedgehog pathway activators that can take the place of these proteins. These compounds, called agonists, are traditional drug-like synthetic molecules, some of which are more active than the Hedgehog proteins in terms of their ability to activate the Hedgehog signaling pathway."
Daniel Passeri, Curis' President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "On September 2 of this year, Curis was issued a U.S. patent that covered pharmaceutical compositions of the Hedgehog agonists. The combination of that previously issued composition patent and this new method patent gives us strong intellectual property protection for the hair growth program that is under development at Curis."
About Curis, Inc.
Curis, Inc. is a therapeutic drug development company. The Company's technology focus is on regulatory pathways that control repair and regeneration. Curis' product development involves the use of proteins or small molecules to modulate these pathways. Curis has successfully used this technology and product development approach to produce several promising drug product candidates in the fields of kidney disease, neurological disorders, cancer, and alopecia (hair loss). For more information, please visit the Curis web site at www.curis.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements concerning Curis' or management's intentions, plans, expectations or predictions of future events are forward-looking statements. Such statements may contain the words "believes", "expects", "anticipates", "plans", "estimates" or similar expressions. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results to be materially different from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. Actual results can be affected by, among other things, uncertainties relating to product development, clinical trials, regulatory actions or delays, the ability to obtain or maintain patent or other proprietary intellectual property protection, changes in or an inability to execute Curis' realigned business strategy and other risk factors identified in Curis' most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Curis disclaims any intention or obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this press release.