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Compugen Discloses Splice Variant Based Program To Discover Superior Oncology Drug Targets For MAb Therapy

Compugen Ltd. (NASDAQ: CGEN) announced today that it is utilizing its proprietary in silico human transcriptome and proteome and additional computational systems to discover splice variants of known drug targets of high industry interest and of other known proteins with potential to become cancer targets for mAb therapy. This program has resulted so far in the discovery of four novel splice variant proteins predicted to be superior oncology targets compared with the previously known proteins. These four splice variants have entered Compugen’s Pipeline Program and are at various stages of validation.

Compugen’s proprietary in silico transcriptome and proteome infrastructure is the result of its decade-long research and modeling of various biological phenomena, including alternative splicing, resulting in a rich, comprehensive, and broadly applicable discovery infrastructure consisting of all genes and their respective splice variants and resulting proteins. In this program, Compugen is utilizing this proprietary knowledge database, together with additional discovery systems and tools, to discover novel splice variants that can serve as superior mAb targets.

Dr. Zurit Levine, Compugen’s VP of R&D, stated, “We first selected a list of known proteins and drug targets that meet industry therapeutic criteria. Challenging traditional experimental discovery methods, we then utilized our in silico predictive human transcriptome and proteome, and additional proprietary discovery tools, to systematically discover previously unknown splice variants, which, although expressed by the same genes as the known proteins, have a unique epitope within their extracellular region which would allow the development of specific mAbs. Next, we tested their predicted expression, function and certain other properties compared with the known proteins. For example, several of these candidate targets exhibited a potential unique expression pattern, while others exhibited a potential superiority in their functional or structural characteristics. To date, this process has resulted in four candidate targets with predicted superiority compared with the existing proteins.”

Dr. Levine continued, “Including this splice variant program, we are now discovering potential targets for monoclonal antibodies and other therapeutic approaches through the use of four distinct but mutually supporting programs. The other three target discovery programs are based on sophisticated expression analysis utilizing our unique MED Platform and its new field extension modules, new protein family members, and, at an earlier stage of capability development, functional prediction. With respect to mAb therapy, these four approaches facilitate discovery of candidate targets applicable for various mAb technologies, such as antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), and enhanced antibody dependent cell mediated cytotoxicity (enhanced ADCC).”

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