CGEN-15052 shown to inhibit T cell activation and to be expressed in multiple cancers including high expression in lung cancer tissues
Predictive discovery of two new checkpoint candidates increases to eleven
the number discovered by the Company
Tel Aviv, Israel – June 16, 2014 — Compugen Ltd. (NASDAQ: CGEN) disclosed today positive experimentalresults for CGEN-15052, a novel immune checkpoint candidate for cancer immunotherapy, which in several experimental settings demonstrated robust inhibition of T cell activation, both as a membrane protein and as an Fc fusion protein. Initial testing of human cancer tissue samples with a polyclonal antibody indicated that CGEN-15052 is expressed in multiple epithelial cancers, with particularly high expression in lung cancer samples. These positive findings support CGEN-15052’s involvement in tumor immunology and its potential as a target for cancer immunotherapy.
Compugen also disclosed today the predictive discovery of two new B7-like immune checkpoint candidates, increasing to eleven the total number of such candidates discovered to date by the Company in this area of high medical and pharmaceutical industry interest. The predictive discovery of these two new immune checkpoint candidates was accomplished utilizing the same predictive models and algorithms that led to the identification of nine novel candidates in the Company’s earlier discovery efforts, but followed enhancement of these models and algorithms through incorporation of additional information obtained from those initial efforts.
Dr. Anat Cohen Dayag, Compugen’s President and CEO, stated, “Our disclosures today of successful experimental results for another of our initial nine checkpoint discoveries, and of new discoveries from a follow-on run utilizing the same predictive models, but enhanced with information from such initial discovery efforts, provide excellent validation of the value and uniqueness of our predictive discovery capabilities. After more than a decade of extensive multidisciplinary research to gain deeper understanding of key biological phenomena, providing the basis for the creation of our predictive models and discovery platforms, it is very rewarding to see these promising results from our first focused use of this powerful capability.”
About Immune Checkpoints
Immune checkpoints are inhibitory receptors and their ligands, which are crucial for the maintenance of self-tolerance (that is, the prevention of autoimmunity) and for the protection of tissues from damage when the immune system is responding to pathogenic infection or other injuries. These immune checkpoints, which are “highjacked” by tumors to block the ability of the immune system to destroy the tumor (immune resistance), have lately emerged as “game changers” and promising targets for cancer immunotherapy. Therapeutic blockade of immune checkpoints can boost anti-tumor immunity, enabling the patient’s immune system to recognize and attack the tumor cells, and mount durable anti-tumor responses and tumor destruction. The blockade of immune checkpoints unleashes the potential of the anti-tumor immune response in a fashion that is transforming cancer therapeutics. Checkpoint-blocking antibodies have lately demonstrated impressive clinical benefits and long-term survival, even for end-stage patients, raising hopes that this novel approach will lead to effective therapeutic strategies and valuable additions in the fight against cancer.
Compugen is a leading drug discovery company focused on therapeutic proteins and monoclonal antibodies to address important unmet needs in the fields of immunology and oncology. The Company utilizes a broad and continuously growing integrated infrastructure of proprietary scientific understandings and predictive platforms, algorithms, machine learning systems and other computational biology capabilities for the in silico (by computer) prediction and selection of product candidates, which are then advanced in its Pipeline Program. The Company’s business model includes collaborations covering the further development and commercialization of product candidates at various stages from its Pipeline Program and various forms of research and discovery agreements, in both cases providing Compugen with potential milestone payments and royalties on product sales or other forms of revenue sharing. Compugen’s wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary located in South San Francisco is developing oncology and immunology monoclonal antibody therapeutic candidates against its drug targets. For additional information, please visit Compugen’s corporate website at https://www.cgen.com/.
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements related to the potential of CGEN-15052 for cancer immunotherapy. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of terminology such as “will,” “may,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “believes,” and “intends,” and describe opinions about future events. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Compugen to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Some of these risks are: changes in relationships with collaborators; the inability to reach mutually agreeable terms and conditions with respect to potential new collaborations; the impact of competitive products and technological changes; risks relating to the development of new products; and the ability to implement technological improvements. These and other factors are discussed in the “Risk Factors” section of Compugen’s most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as other documents that may be subsequently filed by Compugen from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, any forward-looking statements represent Compugen’s views only as of the date of this release and should not be relied upon as representing its views as of any subsequent date. Compugen does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements unless required by law.
Global Media Liaison