Curis received an $8 million milestone payment from Debiopharm on the latter’s achievement of French regulatory authority clearance for a clinical trial with the companies’ small molecule heat shock protein 90 (HSp90) inhibitor. Debiopharm says that it aims to start a Phase I trial with the anticancer candidate Debio 0932 (previously CUDC-305) in patients with advanced solid tumors or lymphomas.
Curis developed Debio 0932 using its targeted cancer platform. The license agreement for the compound was signed with Debiopharm in August 2009. It gives the Swiss company a worldwide, exclusive royalty-bearing license and sublicensing rights to develop, manufacture, and market any product containing Curis’ Hsp90 inhibitor technology. Under the terms of the deal, Debiopharm has taken over development responsibilities and will shoulder all costs related to the development, registration, and commercialization of relevant products.
Curis also has two separate ongoing collaborations with Genentech focused on developing systemic Hedgehog antagonist drug candidates and Wnt signaling pathway modulators. Lead compound, GDC-0449, was originally discovered by Genentech. The candidate is in Phase II trials as part of a first-line combination therapy for metastatic colorectal cancer. It is also in Phase II studies in advanced basal-cell carcinoma and advanced ovarian cancer.
During August 2008, Curis also progressed its lead in-house candidate, CUDC-101, into Phase I evaluation. The company believes that the drug is the first compound in development to simultaneously inhibit HDAC, EGFR, and Her2.