Compugen Ltd. ( NASDAQ: CGEN) announced today that Drew Pardoll, MD, PhD, Abeloff Professor of Oncology, Medicine, Pathology, and Molecular Biology and Genetics at Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, has joined Compugen’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). The SAB, disclosed in August 2013, provides insight and guidance on the Company’s activities in the fields of oncology and immunology with particular emphasis on its early stage pipeline of therapeutic proteins and monoclonal antibodies, largely based on Compugen-discovered immune checkpoint protein candidates.
Prof. Pardoll joins Compugen’s SAB, which already consists of Charles G. Drake, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Oncology, Immunology and Urology at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center; Iain B. McInnes, MD, PhD, Director of the Institute of Infection, Immunity, and Inflammation at the University of Glasgow; Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD, Professor at the Department of Medicine, Hematology/Oncology, University of California Los Angeles; and Howard R. Soule, PhD, Executive Vice President and Chief Science Officer, Prostate Cancer Foundation.
Anat Cohen-Dayag, PhD, President and CEO of Compugen, stated, “We are delighted to welcome Prof. Pardoll, a renowned scientist and key opinion leader in the field of immuno-oncology, to our SAB. We recently announced an increase of more than sixty percent in our R&D budget for the current year relative to 2013, primarily in support of our Pipeline Program candidates in immuno-oncology, and therefore very much look forward to benefiting from the knowledge and guidance to be provided by Drew and the other SAB members."
For the past two decades, Prof. Pardoll has studied molecular aspects of immune regulation, particularly related to mechanisms by which cancer cells evade elimination by the immune system. Prof. Pardoll made seminal advances in immunology, including the discovery of new types of immune cells and regulatory mechanisms. He was the first to propose blockade of PD-1 for cancer therapy, and his program led the clinical development of the first anti-PD-1 antibody. Prof. Pardoll is the inventor of a number of immunotherapies, including cancer vaccines, and was a scientific founder of Amplimmune Inc. He has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and Cancer Cell, and has been a member of numerous corporate and other scientific advisory boards. Prof. Pardoll is Director of the Cancer Immunology Program in the Sydney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins and completed his MD, PhD, Medical Residency and Oncology Fellowship at Johns Hopkins University.