Dr. Anat Cohen-Dayag, President and CEO of Compugen, remarked, "We are very proud of the fact that our first market-driven discovery effort using our unique and broadly applicable predictive infrastructure built over the last decade resulted in the prediction of nine separate and distinct B7/CD28-like molecules, such as CGEN-15001T and CGEN-15022. These two novel molecules are now demonstrating significant potential as monoclonal antibody targets for immunotherapy, one of the most promising new approaches for the treatment of various cancers and an approach that has lately been the subject of great enthusiasm. For example, at the recent annual American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting, studies were reported demonstrating great promise for monoclonal antibodies based on this approach as a long-term therapy for cancer, resulting in widespread interest and media coverage."
Dr. Cohen-Dayag continued, “In addition, the potential value of our B7/CD28-like discoveries is further substantially enhanced by the fact that five soluble proteins based on these molecules have demonstrated positive disease animal model results for various autoimmune diseases and are now under further development in our Pipeline Program."
About Immune Checkpoints
Immune checkpoints are inhibitory receptors and their ligands, which are crucial for the maintenance of self-tolerance (that is, the prevention of autoimmunity) and for the protection of tissues from damage when the immune system is responding to pathogenic infection. These immune checkpoints, which are "highjacked" by tumors to block the ability of the immune system to destroy the tumor (“immune resistance”), have lately emerged as "game changers" and promising targets for cancer immunotherapy. Therapeutic blockade of immune checkpoints stimulates the patient’s immune system in order to provide durable anti-tumor immunity and tumor destruction. The blockade of immune checkpoints unleashes the potential of the anti-tumor immune response in a fashion that is transforming cancer therapeutics. Such antibodies have lately demonstrated impressive clinical benefit and long-term survival, even for end-stage patients, raising hopes that this novel approach will deliver substantial progress in the fight against cancer.