Curis Presentations Highlight Breadth of Targeted Cancer Platform at 102nd AACR Annual Meeting 2011

LEXINGTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apr 6, 2011 - Curis, Inc. (NASDAQ: CRIS), a drug development company seeking to develop next generation targeted small molecule drug candidates for cancer treatment, today announced the presentation of data in three poster presentations at the 102nd American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting held in Orlando, Florida, April 2-6, 2011.

"The data we presented at AACR this year demonstrate the versatility and breadth of our proprietary cancer platform," said Daniel Passeri, Curis President and Chief Executive Officer. "We believe that the potency and differentiability of our product candidates validate Curis's approach to developing novel anti-cancer agents and continue to demonstrate that our proprietary and partnered platforms are based on strong scientific rationale."

The Company reported pre-clinical data characterizing three drug development candidates that target cancer signaling networks. The data demonstrate that Curis' cancer platform can be utilized to generate a range of highly differentiable small molecule inhibitors for cancer with varying functions, molecular composition and potential therapeutic utility in diverse cancer indications.

CUDC-101

Jing Wang, Ph.D., Staff Scientist, Molecular and Cellular Biology, presented a poster titled, "Potential advantages of CUDC-101, a multi-targeted HDAC, EGFR and Her2 inhibitor, on preventing drug resistance and tumor metastasis.” The presentation highlighted data that indicate that Erlotinib-resistant cancer cells and cancer cells harboring MET amplification are sensitive to the treatment of CUDC-101. Moreover, CUDC-101 reduces migration, invasion and epithelial-mesenchymal transition of cancer cells in vitro, suggesting that it may have the potential to simultaneously suppress tumor growth and metastasis and overcome drug resistance.

CUDC-101 is the lead drug candidate from Curis' network-targeted cancer programs and is designed to inhibit epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), epidermal growth factor 2 (Her2) and histone deacetylase (HDAC). Testing of CUDC-101 in a Phase I clinical trial in patients with advanced, refractory solid tumors has been completed, and Curis has initiated a Phase Ib expansion trial in breast, gastric, head and neck, liver and non-small cell lung cancer. Curis believes that CUDC-101 is exemplary of the Company's network-targeted approach, which aims to enhance the therapeutic effect and durability of clinical response by attacking cancer cells at multiple points of intervention.

CUDC-907

The second presentation focused on Curis' latest molecule selected for clinical development, CUDC-907. This presentation was given by Rudi Bao, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Director, Oncology and was titled "Anti-tumor activity of a dual PI3K and HDAC inhibitor in hematologic cancer models". CUDC-907 is designed to potently inhibit phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) and HDAC, the combination of which Curis scientists believe has synergistic interaction against cancer cells. Data presented also indicate that CUDC-907 is more potent than reference compounds in proliferation assays of hematologic cancer cell lines and inhibits survival pathways commonly upregulated upon PI3K inhibition. It also showed that CUDC-907 induces apoptosis at low concentrations in vitro, demonstrating its ability to suppress multiple nodes of survival pathways as a result of the epigenetic modification resulting from the inhibition of its (non-kinase) HDAC target. By contrast, the majority of cancer cells treated with a single-target PI3K inhibitor remain unaffected.

The data presented further show that CUDC-907 displays high exposure, a long half-life in tumor tissue and oral bioavailability in preclinical models, resulting in promising anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic activity in hematologic cancer models.

Debio 0932

The third presentation was given by Xiong Cai, Ph.D., Vice President, Medicinal Chemistry entitled, “Design and synthesis of imidazopyridine derivatives as novel HSP90 inhibitors for the treatment of cancer.” This presentation highlighted the discovery of Debio 0932 (formerly CUDC-305), which is partnered with Debiopharm Group. Dr. Cai's presentation summarizes in detail the design, synthesis and extensive structure-activity relationships identified over the course of the medicinal chemistry campaign that led to the selection of Debio 0932 for clinical development. Debio 0932 is an orally bioavailable small molecule inhibitor of Heat Shock Protein 90 (HSP90) that is currently being tested in a Phase I clinical trial by Curis licensee Debiopharm.

Abstracts can be accessed through the AACR website, www.aacr.org.

All posters are available on Curis' website, www.curis.com.

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.

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 the Company's belief that its approach to developing cancer drug candidates is differentiated from other approaches and that it may represent a breakthrough in cancer therapy.. Forward-looking statements used in this press release may contain the words "believes", "expects", "anticipates", "plans", "seeks", "estimates”, “assumes”, "will", "may" 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 the actual results to be materially different from those indicated by such forward-looking statements including, among other things:

 

  • Curis' collaborators, Genentech and Roche, may experience adverse results, delays and/or failures in their development program under collaboration with Curis. For example, Genentech and Roche may not be able to replicate in later trials any favorable safety and efficacy data from earlier trials of GDC-0449, or may otherwise fail to meet applicable regulatory standards for approval of GDC-0449.
  • Curis may experience adverse results, delays and/or failures in its internal drug development programs, including with respect to its ongoing and planned clinical trials of CUDC-101, with respect to its efforts to advance CUDC-907 into Phase I clinical testing and with respect to its ongoing discovery research and preclinical studies of its other targeted cancer programs.
  • Curis' collaborator Debiopharm may experience adverse results, delays and/or failures in its development program under collaboration with Curis. For example, Debiopharm may not be able to successfully advance Debio 0932 through its ongoing Phase I clinical trial as planned.
  • Curis may experience difficulties or delays in obtaining or maintaining required regulatory approvals for products under development both internally and through its collaborations.
  • Curis may not be able to obtain or maintain the intellectual property protection necessary for the development and commercialization of drug candidates based on its technologies.
  • Curis may not be able to obtain the substantial additional funding required to conduct research and development of its drug candidates.
  • Curis may experience unplanned cash requirements, and may not receive additional anticipated payments under its collaborations, any of which could shorten the estimated period in which Curis will have cash to fund its operations and which could also adversely affect Curis' estimated operating expenses for 2011 and beyond.
  • Curis faces risks relating to its ability to enter into and maintain planned collaborations for development candidates under its targeted cancer programs, its ability to maintain its current collaborations with Genentech/Roche and Debiopharm, and the risk that any such collaborators will not perform adequately or may terminate such collaborations on short notice and/or for circumstances outside of our control.
  • Curis also faces other risk factors identified in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the quarter ended December 31, 2010 and other filings that it periodically makes with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In addition, any forward-looking statements represent the views 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: Curis, Inc.
Michael P. Gray, 617-503-6632
Chief Financial and Chief Operating Officer
mgray@curis.com

 

Posted: April 2011

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