Compugen Ltd. ( NASDAQ: CGEN) announced today the ongoing development of a Predictive Structural Biology (PSB) Infrastructure Platform designed to computationally identify the functional interaction sites of proteins, which are of substantial importance for the rational design of novel drugs. The current application of this new infrastructure capability aims at enhanced discovery of functional monoclonal antibodies in cancer and immunology, Compugen’s core areas of focus.
Protein interactions are central to key biological functions, and thus the therapeutic applications of modulating such interactions are wide-ranging and of high industry interest. In general, modulation occurs when the drug binds to the protein's functional interaction sites. However, the correct identification of functional interaction sites of proteins has in many cases proven to be challenging. Accurately predicting functional interaction sites would therefore be of great help in the design of novel drugs.
In the area of therapeutic antibodies, which represents one of the fastest growing segments in pharmaceuticals, there have been important advances in multiple technologies developed for accelerating therapeutic antibody discovery. However, generating antibodies having the required biological and therapeutic functions remains very difficult. The current application of the PSB Infrastructure Platform targets this problem.
The development of this new infrastructure platform relies heavily on the integration of capabilities previously developed for Compugen’s PPI Blockers Discovery Platform, such as computational prediction of protein-protein interaction sites, certain protein engineering know-how, and, specifically for the therapeutic antibody application, a molecular analysis of antibody-antigen interactions.Dr. Anat Cohen-Dayag, president and CEO of Compugen, stated, “The flexibility of the PSB Infrastructure Platform creates the potential to provide a wide range of drug discovery capabilities and applications, and therefore it is expected to be an important addition to Compugen’s unique predictive infrastructure.” Dr. Cohen-Dayag continued, “The current application of this new capability is being designed not only to enhance the discovery of functional therapeutic monoclonal antibodies that modulate Compugen-discovered novel targets, but also to allow us to generate monoclonal antibodies against additional targets, such as those that have to date proven refractory to antibody targeting attempts. The uniqueness of the current application is its focus on functional protein regions, thereby increasing the likelihood of generating functional antibodies with the desired therapeutic activity. Furthermore, future modifications of the current application may enable us to introduce selected specificities to a given antibody in a predictable manner.”