LEXINGTON, Mass. and LAUSANNE, Switzerland, Aug. 15, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 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 its HALO Phase I/II clinical trial of orally-administered Heat Shock Protein 90 (HSP90) inhibitor Debio 0932 in combination with chemotherapy regimens in patients with advanced stages of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). "Our team is pleased to report that we have successfully advanced Debio 0932 into a large clinical trial to study its potential to provide benefit to patients suffering from non-small cell lung cancer," said Rolland-Yves Mauvernay, President and Founder of Debiopharm Group, who added: "We believe that HSP90 represents an important molecular target in cancer therapy in general and in lung cancer in particular. We expect this Phase I-II study as well as the ongoing Phase Ib clinical trial to yield key data that will guide this important molecule's further development." "Debiopharm has generated a body of clinical data with Debio 0932 to date, showing that it is generally well tolerated and that the molecule demonstrates signs of clinical activity, including a confirmed partial response that was observed in a patient with K-ras-mutated lung cancer," said Dan Passeri, Curis' President and Chief Executive Officer. "We believe that these data demonstrate the potential of Debio 0932 and our HSP90 inhibitor technology, and importantly, Curis is eligible for future milestone payments based on the successful achievement of specific clinical development and regulatory approval objectives under this collaboration." About the HALO Study The HALO ( HSP90 inhibition And Lung cancer Outcomes) study is a Phase I-II clinical trial of the safety and efficacy of the oral HSP90 inhibitor Debio 0932 in combination with standard of care (SOC) agents in first- and second-line therapy of patients with advanced NSCLC. On August 10, 2012, Debiopharm initiated the Phase I portion of this clinical trial designed to determine the recommended Phase II dose of Debio 0932 in combination with various chemotherapy regimens in patients with stage IIIb or IV NSCLC with disease that is characterized as wild-type EGFR (Epidermal Growth Factor). Debio 0932 will be administered in this study in combination with cisplatin/pemetrexed and cisplatin/gemcitabine in treatment-naïve patients, and with docetaxel in previously treated patients.