CRIS2Curis, Inc. (NASDAQ:CRIS) announced the expansion of its pipeline with CA-327, an oral, small molecule immune checkpoint antagonist targeting programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) and T-cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain containing protein-3 (TIM-3).

Curis licensed the PD-1/ TIM-3 antagonist program, and designated CA-327 as the development candidate, by exercising its option under the collaboration, license and option agreement established with Aurigene in January 2015. The collaboration is focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of small molecule drug candidates in the fields of immuno-oncology and selected precision oncology targets.  The previous licensed programs within the collaboration include CA-170, a first-in-class oral, small molecule antagonist targeting PD-L1 and V-domain Ig suppressor of T cell activation (VISTA) immune checkpoints that is currently being studied in a Phase 1 trial in patients with solid tumors and lymphomas, and CA-4948, an oral small molecule inhibitor of Interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase 4 (IRAK4) that is completing IND-enabling studies.

In addition to targeting PD-L1, a negative regulator of immune activation, CA-327 also targets TIM-3, an inhibitory checkpoint molecule that plays an important role in immune suppression and is co-expressed with programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) receptors on exhausted cytotoxic T cells in tumor tissues as well as expressed on certain regulatory T cells.

The in-license of CA-327 comes three months after the collaboration’s first oral immuno-oncology program entered the clinic and less than a month after a $24.5M investment in Curis by Aurigene.

“We are pleased with the progress of our collaboration,” said Dr. Ali Fattaey, Curis’s CEO, “and look forward to working with our partner, Aurigene, to complete IND-enabling studies for CA-327 in the coming months and expect to file an IND in 2017.”

“We are delighted that our collaboration is advancing its third small molecule program in less than two years,” said CSN Murthy, Aurigene’s CEO. “We continue to work closely with Curis to focus our collective resources, creating and developing innovative drug candidates in the field of oncology, including multiple first-in-class oral small molecule checkpoint antagonists within immuno-oncology.” (Original Source)

Shares of Curis closed yesterday at $3.22, down $0.15 or -4.45%. CRIS has a 1-year high of $3.42 and a 1-year low of $1.25. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $2.02 and its 200-day moving average is $1.80.

On the ratings front, Curis has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on September 7, Baird analyst Brian Skorney reiterated a Buy rating on CRIS, with a price target of $7, which represents a potential upside of 117% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on the same day, FBR’s Christopher James reiterated a Buy rating on the stock.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Brian Skorney and Christopher James have a total average return of 20.9% and -10.9% respectively. Skorney has a success rate of 55% and is ranked #81 out of 4184 analysts, while James has a success rate of 38% and is ranked #4029.

Curis, Inc. is a biotechnology company, which is focused on the development and commercialization of innovative drug candidates for the treatment of human cancers. Its pipeline includes is CUDC-907, an orally-available, small molecule inhibitor of histone deacetylase, or HDAC, and phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase, or PI3K enzymes. The company conducts research programs both internally and through strategic collaborations.