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Curis Compound, Hedgehog, Stimulates Blood Vessel Development Following Injury.





July 22,2003.

Business Editors/Health/Medical Writers.
BUSINESS WIRE.




CAMBRIDGE, Mass.


Curis, Inc. (NASDAQ:CRIS) today announced that a Boston-based medical research group has demonstrated that a key signaling pathway, controlled by the Hedgehog protein, plays a crucial role in promoting the development of new blood vessels following tissue injury (deprivation of oxygen). The research points to potential therapeutic applications for the Hedgehog pathway in the treatment of a variety of vascular (blood vessel) disorders.


The scientific report, entitled "Postnatal Recapitulation of Embryonic Hedgehog Pathway in Response to Skeletal Muscle Ischemia," was published last week in the medical research journal Circulation. The research, conducted by Dr. Douglas Losordo and his colleagues at Saint Elizabeth's Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, demonstrated that the Hedgehog pathway is activated after tissue damage and controls the formation of new blood vessels.


Dr. Lee Rubin, Chief Scientific Officer of Curis, commented, "This adds to a growing body of data demonstrating the key role that the Hedgehog pathway plays in tissue repair and the reestablishment of blood supply. Curis has recently developed drug-like small molecules that can either turn the Hedgehog pathway on or off. This strongly positions Curis in terms of developing drug candidates for disorders where one would want either to promote new blood vessel development, as in certain cardiovascular diseases, or where one would want to halt inappropriate blood vessel development, such as for macular degeneration or certain forms of cancer."


Daniel Passeri, Curis' President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "In addition to the significant therapeutic applications, this research validates Curis' core technological approach to drug development. The approach that certain pathways responsible for the initial formation of tissues and organs are reactivated later in adult life in response to stress, injury, or disease, has been reinforced by the recent study. By developing compounds that control these pathways, Curis has been able to assemble a substantial portfolio of drug candidates to treat a wide array of critical medical problems, including kidney disease, neurological disorders, cancer, and others."



CONTACT: For Curis, Inc.
Christopher U. Missling, Ph.D., 617-503-6587
or
Marc F. Charette, Ph.D., 617-503-6629






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