A New Immunomodulatory Target Discovered By Compugen Ltd. Demonstrates Potential For First-In-Class Cancer Therapy

Published: Oct 09, 2017

HOLON, Israel, Oct. 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Compugen Ltd. (NASDAQ: CGEN), a leader in predictive discovery and development of first-in-class therapeutics for cancer immunotherapy, disclosed new data demonstrating the potential of CGEN-15032 as a target for the development of first-in-class cancer therapy. CGEN-15032 is a novel myeloid and epithelial immuno-oncology target, which may serve as an immuno-suppressive target within the tumor microenvironment. Addressing the immuno-suppressive environment of the tumor through myeloid drug targets has the potential for developing treatments that may expand the patient population responsive to current treatments.

The data, demonstrating the target's immunomodulatory effect and its effect on tumor growth, were generated as part of the research collaboration with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (JHU), under the direction of Prof. Drew Pardoll, MD, PhD, Director of the Bloomberg-Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at Johns Hopkins and Chairman of Compugen's Scientific Advisory Board.

Compugen also announced today the extension of its multi-year immuno-oncology research collaboration with JHU. The research collaboration, originally announced in December 2014 is now expanded to include new additional targets discovered by Compugen which have the potential to serve as a basis for the development of cancer immunotherapy treatments. This highly valuable collaborative research provides ongoing assessment of the biology and mechanisms of action of Compugen's novel immune checkpoint proteins and expedites their expected translation towards the clinic. 

Anat Cohen-Dayag, PhD, President and CEO of Compugen said, "The data we achieved with CGEN-15032, together with JHU exemplifies the tremendous value of our collaboration, providing us with access to world-class immuno-oncology knowledge and expertise to successfully develop our immuno-oncology programs, and accelerate their path towards future human testing."

CGEN-15032 was discovered by the Company's immune checkpoint discovery platform, which also served as the cornerstone for the identification of TIGIT and PVRIG two novel immune checkpoints which are currently in preclinical development by Compugen. Tumor growth in CGEN-15032-deficient mice (knock-out mice) is reduced relative to wild-type mice, and treatment of CGEN-15032-deficient mice with an anti-PD-L1 antibody further reduced tumor growth as compared with anti-PD-L1 treated wild-type mice. Together, these data suggest that CGEN-15032 may serve as an immuno-suppressive component of the tumor microenvironment, and that drugs inhibiting CGEN-15032 either alone or in combination with checkpoint inhibitors may activate anti-cancer immune responses.

CGEN-15032 was the subject of both an oral and a poster presentation at the 3rd annual CRI-CIMT-EATI-AACR International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference, in Mainz/Frankfurt, Germany. The poster is available on the Publications page of Compugen's website.

About Compugen
Compugen is a therapeutic discovery and development company utilizing its broadly applicable predictive discovery infrastructure to identify novel drug targets and develop first-in-class therapeutics in the field of cancer immunotherapy. The Company's therapeutic pipeline consists of immuno-oncology programs against novel drug targets it has discovered, including T cell immune checkpoints and myeloid target programs. Compugen's business model is to selectively enter into collaborations for its novel targets and related drug product candidates at various stages of research and development. The Company is headquartered in Israel, with R&D facilities in both Israel and South San Francisco, CA. Compugen's shares are listed on NASDAQ and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol CGEN. For additional information, please visit Compugen's corporate website at http://www.cgen.com.

Forward-Looking Statement
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of terminology such as "will," "may," "expects," "anticipates," "believes," "potential," "plan," "goal," "estimate," "likely," "should," and "intends," and describe opinions about possible 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. Among these risks: Compugen's business model is substantially dependent on entering into collaboration agreements with third parties and Compugen may not be successful in generating adequate revenues or commercializing aspects of its business model. Moreover, the development and commercialization of therapeutic candidates involve many inherent risks, including failure to progress to clinical trials or, if they progress to or enter clinical trials, failure to receive regulatory approval. These and other factors are more fully 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 (SEC) as well as other documents that may be subsequently filed by Compugen from time to time with the SEC. 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.

Company contact:
Elana Holzman
Director, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications
Compugen Ltd.
E-mail: elanah@cgen.com
Tel: +972(3)765-8124

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SOURCE Compugen Ltd.

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