Compugen Ltd. (NASDAQ: CGEN), announced today that CGEN-15001, an Fc fusion protein drug candidate derived from a novel immune checkpoint protein discovered by Compugen, has been shown to be highly efficient in preventing the development of disease in a well-accepted animal model of autoimmune type I diabetes, known also as juvenile diabetes. The study was performed as part of an ongoing collaboration with Stephen Miller, Professor of microbiology-immunology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
The study utilized non-obese laboratory mice that spontaneously develop autoimmune insulin dependent diabetes. Administration of CGEN-15001 to the mice began at 10 weeks of age, prior to manifestation of any clinical symptoms of the disease, and was continued for a period of only 2 weeks. The mice were then monitored for blood glucose levels for an additional 4 months after the last treatment.
Results of the study demonstrate that treatment with CGEN-15001 prevented development of diabetes throughout the 4 months of follow-up. Animals treated with CGEN-15001 maintained normal blood glucose levels compared with untreated animals that developed high blood glucose. The sustained duration of response following a short-term treatment with CGEN-15001, also observed previously in other disease models of autoimmunity, suggests that CGEN-15001 turns off the autoimmune process and may potentially lead to restoration of immune tolerance and resolution of autoimmunity, thereby arresting disease progression.
"We have already shown through various preclinical studies that CGEN-15001 has the potential to serve as an efficacious disease modifying therapy for multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis," said Anat Cohen-Dayag, Ph.D., Compugen’s President and CEO. "The results being reported today show that this Fc fusion protein also has a remarkable effect in a well-accepted disease model of type I diabetes, a severe, life-long disease with no current cure. These findings highlight the potential of CGEN-15001 to treat multiple autoimmune conditions and the promise of developing new effective immune modulating therapeutic drug candidates based on Compugen’s discovery platforms."