In March 2017, COM902 was selected as the lead therapeutic candidate for CGEN-15137/TIGIT.
CGEN-15137 is the internal designation for TIGIT, an immune checkpoint in the B7/CD28 family which has recently gained broad industry interest in the field of immuno-oncology. The therapeutic antibody program targeting TIGIT was initiated to complement the Company’s PVRIG program. Data strongly support combining Compugen’s preclinical candidate, the COM701 anti-PVRIG antibody, with an anti-TIGIT antibody. Compugen hypothesized that dual blockade of the two negative costimulatory arms of the axis – TIGIT and PVRIG – should result in a more robust T cell response, and therefore possibly a better anti-tumor immune response. In vitro studies show that dual blockade of both TIGIT and PVRIG increases the activity of tumor infiltrating T cells (TILs) beyond the level achieved by blocking each alone.
TIGIT was discovered by Compugen utilizing its in silico predictive discovery infrastructure and experimentally validated as an immune checkpoint. The findings were published by Compugen in the October 2009 issue of the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
The Company plans to file an Investigational New Drug (IND) application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and initiate Phase 1 studies for COM902 in 2019.