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Let the Epic Curing Begin: Epix and Curis Earn Milestone Payments

Xconomy Boston — 

Two Boston-area biotech companies have reached clinical milestones that will earn them a total of $10.5 million from their industry partners.

Epix Pharmaceuticals of Lexington, MA, announced today that it has begun phase 2b clinical trials of its new drug for treating Alzheimer’s disease. This key step will earn the firm $7.5 million from its partner GlaxoSmithKline. Some 400 Alzheimer’s patients will be enrolled in the first part of the trials, which will last six months. Epix, last spotted inking a $37.7 million deal with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation prides itself on its drug discovery platform, which uses advanced computer models to find drug candidates efficiently.

Fellow biotech Curis, a Cambridge, MA-based drug development company that focuses on creating new cancer therapies, will receive $3 million from its collaborator Genentech, also for starting clinical trials. The phase 2 testing of Curis’s new drug for treating colorectal cancer will involve about 150 cancer patients who will take the drug in combination with standard chemotherapy.