LAUSANNE, Switzerland and LEXINGTON, Massachusetts, February 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Curis, Inc. (NASDAQ: CRIS), a drug development company seeking to develop proprietary targeted medicines for cancer treatment, and Debiopharm Group (Debiopharm), a group of companies with a focus on the development of prescription drugs that target unmet medical needs, today announced that Debiopharm has begun treating patients in a Phase Ib clinical trial of Heat Shock Protein 90 (HSP90) inhibitor Debio 0932. Debiopharm recently successfully completed a Phase Ia dose escalation study with Debio 0932 and has indicated that it expects to initiate a combination Phase I/II study in non-small cell lung cancer patients in the second quarter of 2012. "Our team has been very pleased with the development of Debio 0932, which has become an important molecule in Debiopharm's pipeline," said Rolland-Yves Mauvernay, President and Founder of Debiopharm Group. "We believe that HSP90 represents an important molecular target in cancer therapy, and we are eager to advance this molecule in the Phase Ib clinical trial, as well in our planned Phase I/II studies, which we hope will yield important new data for the further development of Debio 0932." "We have been highly impressed with the depth of Debiopharm's development expertise and commitment to furthering Debio 0932 into additional clinical studies in 2012," said Dan Passeri, Curis President and Chief Executive Officer. "Importantly, we continue to be very pleased with the clinical results that have been observed to-date, and we look forward to reporting further progress on this molecule in the future." About the Phase I Clinical Trial Debiopharm initiated a Phase I clinical trial in April 2010 that was designed to evaluate the maximum tolerated dose and safety of Debio 0932. The first part of the study (Phase Ia), an open-label, multi-center dose escalation trial evaluating the safety and tolerability of escalating multiple dose levels of Debio 0932 given daily or every other day as a single agent by oral administration in patients suffering from advanced solid tumours, was recently completed. Debio 0932 was generally well tolerated, with no evidence of ocular or liver toxicity, and showed promising signs of efficacy in patients with advanced solid tumours. The recommended dose, established at 1000mg every day, will be tested in additional patients during the expansion phase (Phase Ib) of the ongoing Phase I study. Details from the Phase Ia portion of the study will be presented at a medical conference in 2012.