Compugen Ltd. (NASDAQ: CGEN) disclosed today positive experimental results for CGEN-15052, a novel immune checkpoint candidate for cancer immunotherapy, which in several experimental settings demonstrated robust inhibition of T cell activation, both as a membrane protein and as an Fc fusion protein. Initial testing of human cancer tissue samples with a polyclonal antibody indicated that CGEN-15052 is expressed in multiple epithelial cancers, with particularly high expression in lung cancer samples. These positive findings support CGEN-15052’s involvement in tumor immunology and its potential as a target for cancer immunotherapy.
Compugen also disclosed today the predictive discovery of two new B7-like immune checkpoint candidates, increasing to eleven the total number of such candidates discovered to date by the Company in this area of high medical and pharmaceutical industry interest. The predictive discovery of these two new immune checkpoint candidates was accomplished utilizing the same predictive models and algorithms that led to the identification of nine novel candidates in the Company’s earlier discovery efforts, but followed enhancement of these models and algorithms through incorporation of additional information obtained from those initial efforts.
Dr. Anat Cohen Dayag, Compugen’s President and CEO, stated, “Our disclosures today of successful experimental results for another of our initial nine checkpoint discoveries, and of new discoveries from a follow-on run utilizing the same predictive models, but enhanced with information from such initial discovery efforts, provide excellent validation of the value and uniqueness of our predictive discovery capabilities. After more than a decade of extensive multidisciplinary research to gain deeper understanding of key biological phenomena, providing the basis for the creation of our predictive models and discovery platforms, it is very rewarding to see these promising results from our first focused use of this powerful capability.”
About Immune CheckpointsImmune 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 or other injuries. 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 can boost anti-tumor immunity, enabling the patient’s immune system to recognize and attack the tumor cells, and mount durable anti-tumor responses 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. Checkpoint-blocking antibodies have lately demonstrated impressive clinical benefits and long-term survival, even for end-stage patients, raising hopes that this novel approach will lead to effective therapeutic strategies and valuable additions in the fight against cancer.