Curis Inc. and P&G in hair growth treatment development deal
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Curis Inc. and P&G in hair growth treatment development deal

Procter and Gamble (P&G) has agreed to pay Curis Inc., a $500,000 initial payment and up to $2.8 million to develop hair growth treatments. The collaboration has long term potential and goals, and as confirmed by Curis, it could receive more than $100 million in milestone payments if the collaboration continues for its full term and leads to at least one product commercialized by P&G. It would be a significant agreement, which would help P&G to maintain its market share with the help of Curis.

Curis said in a statement that the pact with P&G's pharmaceutical unit could be expanded to look at other skin disorders, which will mean that there could be a far-longer collaboration between the two companies.

Curis, which is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, says that its scientists have shown some small molecule Hedgehog agonists can induce hair growth in pre-clinical models. These agonists do not affect the skin in any other way, and therefore, could prove to be a powerful treatment that is specific for hair growth.

Though there are currently only pre-clinical results available, the initial research data suggests the hedgehog agonists may have significant hair growth potential. Under the latest pact, P&G, which is based at Cincinnati, has an exclusive, worldwide, royalty-bearing license for a topical use of Curis' Hedgehog agonist technology should the technology be developed into a hair growth treatment, as per the pre-clinical results.

The pact between the two companies states that if a something derived from the collaboration is successfully commercialized, P&G agrees to pay Curis a royalty based on net product sales. Curis has, however, made it clear that though the Hedgehog agonist program was licensed exclusively to Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in January 2004, it had retained the right to develop Hedgehog agonists for topical treatment to stimulate hair growth. The pact with Wyeth also allows Curis to develop topical applications to treat or prevent other skin diseases or disorders.

The results of the study conducted by the scientists of Curis are important, as the Hedgehog agonists do not affect the skin in any other way, which was the main problem of treatments currently available in the market. If the technology of topical application could be developed successfully, it would be a great breakthrough both for the company and for the people suffering from baldness, claim Curis and P&G.

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