Compugen Announces Addition of Immuno-oncology Pioneer Dr. Nils Lonberg to its Scientific Advisory Board
HOLON, Israel, Sept. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Compugen Ltd. (Nasdaq: CGEN), a clinical-stage cancer immunotherapy company and a leader in predictive target discovery, today announced the addition of Nils Lonberg, Ph.D., to its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). Dr. Lonberg is a pioneer in the field of immuno-oncology and has more than 30 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. Concurrently, Charles (Chuck) Drake, M.D., Ph.D. will be stepping down from Compugen's SAB to pursue a new pharmaceutical industry role. Prof. Drake has served as a member of Compugen's SAB since 2013.
"We are honored to have Dr. Lonberg join Compugen's Scientific Advisory Board. His work provided the basis for a revolution in the treatment of cancer and laid the earliest foundation for the field of cancer immunotherapy, paving the way for companies like Compugen to pursue this path and potentially make a difference in the lives of patients with cancer," said Anat Cohen-Dayag, Ph.D., President and CEO of Compugen. "Dr. Lonberg's expertise will contribute to our vision for the company and our work to extend the reach of immunotherapies to more patients. We look forward to working with Dr. Lonberg and the rest of our Scientific Advisory Board as we continue our efforts to identify new immunotherapy targets and advance our candidates through the clinic. We would also like to express our gratitude to Chuck for the valued strategic and scientific guidance he has provided us over the last 7 years and wish him the best in his new role."
Drew Pardoll, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Oncology, Johns Hopkins University and Chair of the Compugen SAB added, "Nils Lonberg pioneered the translation of checkpoint inhibition into treatments that have transformed the outlook for millions of patients with cancer. He is one of our field's true visionaries and I look forward to collaborating with him on Compugen's SAB."
Dr. Lonberg said, "Compugen's science-driven work to develop first-in-class therapeutics has the potential to unlock new targets and breakthrough therapies in the field of immuno-oncology. Despite the clinical advancements made to date, cancer immunotherapies provide limited efficacy to the majority of patients, suggesting there are still checkpoints and pathways yet to be discovered. Compugen's scientifically rigorous approach has led to the identification of multiple novel immune checkpoints and its clinical assets have already demonstrated encouraging early results. I look forward to providing my guidance as Compugen works to develop its immuno-oncology product pipeline."
Dr. Nils Lonberg currently serves as Executive in Residence at Canaan Partners, an early-stage venture capital firm, having led drug discovery and platform development teams in the biopharmaceutical industry for the last 30 years. Prior to joining Canaan Partners, Dr. Lonberg spent 10 years with Bristol Myers Squibb, leading drug discovery efforts for immuno-oncology, most recently as Senior Vice President, Oncology Discovery Biology. Under his leadership, YERVOY® (ipilimumab) was the first checkpoint blockade therapy to receive FDA regulatory approval in 2011 as cancer immunotherapy treatment, followed by OPDIVO® (nivolumab), the first anti-PD-1 antibody to enter clinical development, which was approved by the FDA in 2014. Previously, Dr. Lonberg was Scientific Director at Genpharm International and Medarex, where his research contributed significantly to the discovery of 10 FDA-approved antibody therapeutics. Dr. Lonberg received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Harvard University and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2015.
Compugen is a clinical-stage therapeutic discovery and development company utilizing its broadly applicable, predictive computational discovery platforms to identify novel drug targets and develop therapeutics in the field of cancer immunotherapy. The Company's lead product candidate, COM701, a first-in-class anti-PVRIG antibody, for the treatment of solid tumors, is undergoing a Phase 1 clinical study. In addition, COM902, Compugen's antibody targeting TIGIT, is in a Phase 1 clinical study. The Company's therapeutic pipeline also includes early stage immuno-oncology programs focused largely on myeloid targets. The Company is headquartered in Israel, with offices in South San Francisco, CA. Compugen's shares are listed on the Nasdaq and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol CGEN. For additional information, please visit Compugen's corporate website at www.cgen.com.
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and the safe-harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are based on the current beliefs, expectations and assumptions of Compugen. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of terminology such as "will," "may," "expects," "anticipates," "believes," "potential," "plan," "goal," "estimate," "likely," "should," "confident," and "intends," and similar expressions that are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the expectation that Dr. Lonberg's expertise will largely contribute to Compugen's vision and Compugen's work to extend the reach of immunotherapies to more patients and statements regarding the potential of Compugen's science-driven work to develop first-in-class therapeutics to unlock new targets and breakthrough therapies in the field of immuno-oncology. 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 operations could be affected by the outbreak and spread of COVID19, clinical development involves a lengthy and expensive process, with an uncertain outcome and Compugen may encounter substantial delays or even an inability to begin clinical trials for any specific product, or may not be able to conduct or complete its trials on the timelines it expects; Compugen relies, and expects to continue to rely, on third parties to conduct its clinical trials and if these third parties do not successfully carry out their contractual duties, comply with regulatory requirements or meet expected deadlines (including as a result of the effect of the COVID-19), Compugen may experience significant delays in the conduct of its clinical trials; Compugen's approach to the discovery of therapeutic products is based on its proprietary computational target discovery infrastructure, which is unproven clinically; Compugen does not know whether it will be able to discover and develop additional potential product candidates or products of commercial value; 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. These risks and other risks are 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.
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Company Codes: Dusseldorf:CW9, TelAviv:CGEN, Stuttgart:CW9, Berlin:CW9, Frankfurt:CW9, NASDAQ-NMS:CGEN