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.