CAMBRIDGE, Mass. & SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. January 17, 2002 Curis, Inc. (NASDAQ: CRIS) and AGY Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held biopharmaceutical company, today announced that the two companies have formed a strategic collaboration to discover and develop novel small molecule drugs from stem cells for therapeutic, diagnostic and other applications relevant to neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, oncology, and central nervous system (CNS) diseases.
Under the terms of the agreement, Curis will share its stem cell and developmental biology expertise with AGY, who will apply their proprietary imAGYne technology platform to identify, analyze and validate novel small molecule targets. Products of this collaboration will be used by both companies to further their own internal drug development programs, as well as in partnerships with third parties. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
"This collaboration with AGY represents an unprecedented opportunity to elucidate the genes responsible for key factors affecting tissue regeneration," said Daniel R. Passeri, President and Chief Executive Office of Curis. "This knowledge should lead to greater insights of gene function and development of effective therapies that are based on the body's ability to repair itself."
Karoly Nikolich, Ph.D., AGY's Chief Executive Officer, said, "The access to Curis' thorough understanding of stem cells and their role in the regenerative process, specifically in the area of neurodegenerative disease, allows us to identify and select novel targets for CNS and other diseases. Over the last few years, we have validated and filed patents on over 150 genes, each a potential target for various CNS diseases. With this collaboration, we expect to see these figures significantly increase and our understanding of these complex diseases greatly improved."
Together the companies will generate a biological atlas elucidating the molecular basis of tissue formation, maintenance, and regeneration, through a systematic profiling of the biology associated with stem cell proliferation and differentiation along pathways of therapeutic interest, and to facilitate target and drug discovery in regenerative medicine.
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.
About AGY Therapeutics
AGY Therapeutics, Inc. is dedicated to discovering and developing novel treatments for CNS diseases, including stroke, Alzheimer's disease, depression, brain tumors and obesity. With its proprietary imAGYne platform, the company has identified and characterized a vast number of promising drug targets to treat or diagnose these diseases. The imAGYne platform was developed by AGY to define the intra- and extra-cellular signaling pathways that underlie the pathological progression of disease, so novel, high-quality, therapeutic targets could be identified and qualified for further investigation. The imAGYne platform begins with animal models that replicate the same disease found in humans. Regulated genes are identified, and multiple expression profiles are quantified over a period of time in order to distinguish genes that are unique in the disease process. After delineating the pathways that underlie the disease process, pharmaceutically, high-quality targets are functionally validated.
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 identify novel validated targets; Curis' success to generate a database of valuable information from the information obtained from AGY's data; Curis' research and development and capital funding requirements; 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.