Compugen Presents at American Association of Cancer Research Special Conference on Tumor Immunology
<0> Compugen Ltd.Tsipi Haitovsky, +972-52-598-9892Global Media Liaison </0>
Speaking today at the American Association of Cancer Research in Miami, Florida, Dr. Ofer Levy, Senior Scientist at Compugen Ltd., presented data supporting the therapeutic potential of CGEN-15001T and CGEN-15022, proteins discovered by Compugen, as immune checkpoint targets for cancer immunotherapy. This prestigious conference features talks by key opinion leaders, invited to discuss new findings in the field of tumor immunology. Presentations cover both basic and translational research, highlighting rapidly developing advances in this breakthrough approach to cancer treatment.
CGEN-15001T and CGEN-15022 are both membrane proteins which were predicted and validated by Compugen as novel B7/CD28-like immune checkpoint candidates. Such checkpoint proteins are expressed on the surface of cancer cells and other cells within the tumor microenvironment, and their negative immune activities protect the tumor from being attacked by the immune system. Both Compugen targets have shown robust inhibitory activity in different assays of T cell activation, and in his talk, Dr. Levy presented some of these findings. The robust inhibitory activities of these novel immune checkpoints, which were previously demonstrated using each target's extracellular domain fused to an Fc antibody fragment, have now also been shown for the targets’ native membrane forms, which is an important finding for antibody targets.
In his talk, Dr. Levy presented expression profile data for CGEN-15001T and CGEN-15022 in various cancer types, demonstrating substantially different expression patterns for the two drug targets. As previously disclosed, CGEN-15001T is expressed in various solid cancers and hematological malignancies, including prostate cancer, melanoma, Hodgkin's lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, such as T and B cell lymphomas. In addition, CGEN-15001T was shown to be expressed in the infiltrating immune cells within the tumor, further supporting an immunomodulatory role for this target in cancer development. In comparison, CGEN-15022 is highly expressed in liver, lung, breast, colorectal, prostate and ovarian cancers, as described today by Dr. Levy. The high expression levels observed in these cancers compared with their respective normal cells support the development of antibodies with high specificity toward the cancer cells.
Taken together, the immune inhibitory activities and expression profiles of CGEN-15001T and CGEN-15022 point to their potential to serve as promising drug targets for antibody treatment of various solid cancers, an area of substantial unmet need and of great interest to the medical community and pharmaceutical industry. Therapeutic antibodies blocking the function of Compugen's novel immune checkpoints, currently being generated at Compugen's U.S. subsidiary in California, would remove their suppressive effect and therefore stimulate the patient’s own immune system to attack and destroy the tumor. This approach has the potential to provide durable anti-tumor immunity, and thus offer a very promising path for effective cancer immunotherapy.
Immune checkpoints have lately emerged as "game changers" for cancer therapy. Clinical studies employing mAb blockade of immune checkpoints have shown unprecedented durable therapeutic responses that offer a possible cure of metastatic disease. Negative costimulators from the B7/CD28 protein family play key roles as immune checkpoints, regulating the immune system to prevent autoimmunity and to protect tissues from damage during inflammation. The expression of immune checkpoint proteins is dysregulated by tumors and other cells in their microenvironment as an important immune resistance mechanism, which is critical for tumor development.
Compugen (NASDAQ:CGEN) is a leading therapeutic product 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 (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 selected product candidates 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. In 2012, Compugen established operations in California for the development of oncology and immunology monoclonal antibody therapeutic candidates against Compugen drug targets. For additional information, please visit Compugen's corporate website at .