LEXINGTON, Mass., Oct. 18, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Curis, Inc. (Nasdaq:CRIS), a drug development company seeking to develop next generation targeted small molecule drug candidates for cancer treatment, today announced that it has achieved the first two development milestones under its agreement with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) for the development of CUDC-907, a first-in-class orally-administered small molecule drug candidate inhibitor of phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) and histone deacetylase (HDAC). These milestones include a preclinical development objective, as well as Curis' recent filing of an Investigational New Drug (IND) application to begin Phase I clinical testing of CUDC-907 in patients. As a result, Curis will receive $750,000 in milestone payments under the terms of its agreement with LLS. "The completion of CUDC-907's preclinical testing and subsequent IND filing is a significant milestone in the development of this important molecule, and we look forward to initiating a Phase I clinical trial in patients with relapsed or refractory lymphomas or multiple myeloma in early 2013," said Dan Passeri, Curis' President and Chief Executive Officer. "In preclinical studies, CUDC-907 has demonstrated very potent anti-proliferation activity, and we believe that this approach of disrupting multiple signaling networks with a single-agent drug candidate holds a great deal of promise for patients with advanced cancers. The upcoming Phase I dose escalation study will be extremely important for selecting a dose of CUDC-907 given orally to this specific patient population to be used for further efficacy testing. " "We are pleased that Curis' research and development team has successfully completed the preclinical work required to advance CUDC-907 towards clinical testing in patients with lymphomas and multiple myeloma, said Richard Winneker, LLS's Senior Vice President of Research. "These patients are often in critical need of new treatment options and LLS's Therapy Acceleration Program (TAP) has provided important capital to companies like Curis to continue advancing novel drug candidates for the treatment of blood cancers."