CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 15, 2005--Curis, Inc.
(NASDAQ: CRIS), a therapeutic drug development company, today
announced that Centocor has expanded its relationship with Curis.
Under the revised agreement, Curis will screen for small molecule
agonists that mimic the bioactivity of BMP-7 and activate the bone
morphogenetic ("BMP") pathway. At Centocor's request, Curis will also
use its proprietary screening assays to further test and validate any
newly discovered Centocor BMP-7 protein and peptide variants in
support of Centocor's effort to find next generation protein
therapeutics. Both efforts represent an expansion of Curis' current
relationship with Centocor. Currently, Centocor has licensed the BMP-7
protein and related patent portfolio from Curis and is developing this
protein as a therapeutic agent.
Under terms of the agreement, Centocor will fund two FTE's and
Curis will fund two FTE's for the screening effort. The screening
effort is expected to last fifteen months. Curis will own any small
molecule BMP agonist compounds that are discovered as part of this
screening; however, Centocor will have an exclusive option to enter
into a new collaboration and exclusive license agreement for the
development of the small molecules.
"Curis has a significant track record of expanding and extending
its relationships with its collaborators. The type of partnerships
that we put in place with major pharmaceutical and biotechnology
companies allow Curis to gain significant, useful knowledge about
clinical trials and to be less reliant on the capital markets," said
Daniel R. Passeri, President and Chief Executive Officer of Curis,
Inc. "We are pleased by Centocor's continued commitment to this
program and we are hopeful that this screening effort could produce a
viable lead candidate for use in an eventual clinical trial."
About the Centocor Research and Development Inc., Agreement
Centocor has 45 days after completion of the screening program to
notify Curis that it intends to exercise its option to license. If
Centocor exercises the option and elects to continue the collaboration
with Curis, the Parties will, in good faith, negotiate a collaboration
and exclusive license agreement for subsequent development and
commercialization of the Curis small molecule agonists on commercially
reasonable terms. If the Parties fail to sign an agreement within
three months of Centocor's exercise of the Option, then Curis has the
right to negotiate a development and commercialization agreement with
In November 2002, Curis licensed its broad BMP technology
portfolio to Ortho Biotech Products on an exclusive, worldwide
royalty-bearing basis, for all non-orthopedic and non-dental
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
cancer (under two collaborations with Genentech, one of which includes
a co-development arrangement for a basal cell carcinoma product
candidate that is currently in Phase I clinical trials), neurological
disorders (under collaboration with Wyeth), hair growth (under
collaboration with Procter & Gamble), kidney and other diseases
(licensed to Ortho Biotech Products and under development at Centocor,
both subsidiaries of Johnson & Johnson), and cardiovascular disease.
Curis also possesses robust small molecule drug screening technologies
and preclinical scientific expertise that Curis believes it can use to
create a sustainable drug candidate pipeline including, for example,
its efforts in Spinal Muscular Atrophy (under sponsored research
agreement with the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Foundation). For more
information, please visit the Curis web site at 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 statements concerning the expectation
that the BMP screening efforts could produce a viable lead candidate
for use in an eventual clinical trial. . Forward-looking statements
used in this press release may contain the words "believes",
"expects", "anticipates", "plans", "seeks", "estimates" or similar
expressions. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of
future performance and involve risks, uncertainties, assumptions and
other factors that may cause Curis' actual results to be materially
different from those indicated by such forward-looking statements.
Actual results can be affected by a number of important factors
including, among other things: adverse results in Curis' and its
strategic collaborators' and licensees' product development programs;
delays in enrolling patients for its basal cell carcinoma clinical
trial, difficulties or delays in obtaining or maintaining required
regulatory approvals for products being developed by Curis and its
collaborators and licensees; Curis' ability to obtain or maintain the
patent and other proprietary intellectual property protection
necessary for the development and commercialization of products based
on its technologies; changes in or Curis' 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, fund its co-development obligations under its
collaboration with Genentech and execute its business plan; unplanned
cash requirements and expenditures; risks relating to Curis' ability
to enter into and maintain important strategic collaborations,
including its ability to maintain its current collaboration agreements
with Genentech, Wyeth and Ortho Biotech Products; the risk that
competitors will discover and develop signaling pathway-based or other
competing therapeutics faster and more successfully than Curis and its
collaborators are able to; and other risk factors identified in Curis'
most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q
and subsequent 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. 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 Curis, Inc.
Michael P. Gray, 617-503-6632
Chief Financial Officer
Megan E. Burling, 617-503-6658
Director, Corporate Communications
SOURCE: Curis, Inc.