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Compugen Publishes Review On Biology And Potential Therapeutic Relevance Of DNAM-1 Axis In Cancer Immunotherapy

The peer-reviewed article published in Cancer Discovery, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research

HOLON, Israel, March 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Compugen Ltd. (Nasdaq: CGEN), a clinical-stage cancer immunotherapy company and a leader in predictive target discovery, today announced the publication of a review article titled "Therapeutic Targeting of Checkpoint Receptors within the DNAM-1 Axis" reviewing the biology and therapeutic relevance of the DNAM-1 axis in cancer immunotherapy. The peer-reviewed article, published in Cancer Discovery, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, was co-authored by Drew Pardoll, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Oncology, Johns Hopkins University and Chairman of Compugen's Scientific Advisory Board.

Article highlights include: 

  • Detailed overview of the DNAM-1 axis including axis checkpoint molecules:  DNAM-1, TIGIT, PVRIG and CD96, along with their ligands PVR and PVRL2
  • Summary of recent studies outlining the ascendancy of the DNAM-1 axis as a potential new pathway in immuno-oncology, including ongoing clinical trials evaluating therapeutic antibodies directed against TIGIT and PVRIG
  • Author commentary on the rationale for testing combination regimens of DNAM-1 axis blockers in combination with PD-1/L1 agents and the overall promise of these emerging targets in cancer clinical trials
  • Author discussion of the potential biomarkers that can define patient populations most likely to respond to the blockade of each checkpoint pathway

"Our discovery of PVRIG as a distinct pathway in the DNAM axis has evolved into a deep and broad understanding of this potentially foundational axis in cancer immunotherapy," said Anat Cohen-Dayag, Ph.D., President and CEO of Compugen. "Having spent several years studying PVRIG and TIGIT, the latter of which we discovered along with others, as well as their possible synergy with the PD-1 pathway, we are proud to now share our knowledge with the scientific and healthcare communities through this comprehensive review written with Dr. Pardoll, a world-renowned immuno-oncology thought leader and one of our trusted advisors and long-term collaborators. This article provides an overview of the biology that underlies our clinical strategy addressing the DNAM axis, including evidence that supports PVRIG and TIGIT as important and distinct immunotherapy checkpoints in oncology as well as their potential to expand immuno-oncology treatment options to new patient populations. Importantly, with wholly-owned clinical candidates targeting both PVRIG and TIGIT, we are uniquely positioned to evaluate the role of the DNAM axis in the clinic, specifically with our ongoing Phase 1/2 study, evaluating the triple simultaneous blockade of PVRIG, TIGIT and PD-1."

Dr. Pardoll added, "Our long-standing partnership with Compugen has led to important contributions in the immuno-oncology space, expanding the understanding of the biology of newly discovered immune checkpoints identified by Compugen, including PVRIG and TIGIT. This review highlights the power of these discoveries in the DNAM axis, and the potential of these axis members to translate to new immuno-oncology treatments."

About Compugen

Compugen is a clinical-stage therapeutic discovery and development company utilizing its broadly applicable, predictive computational discovery platforms to identify novel drug targets and develop therapeutics in the field of cancer immunotherapy. Compugen's lead product candidate, COM701, a first-in-class anti-PVRIG antibody, for the treatment of solid tumors, is undergoing a Phase 1 clinical study. In addition, COM902, Compugen's antibody targeting TIGIT, is in a Phase 1 clinical study. Compugen's therapeutic pipeline also includes early stage immuno-oncology programs focused largely on myeloid targets. Compugen is headquartered in Israel, with offices in South San Francisco, CA. Compugen's shares are listed on Nasdaq and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol CGEN. For additional information, please visit Compugen's corporate website at  

Forward-Looking Statement 

This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and the safe-harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are based on the current beliefs, expectations and assumptions of Compugen. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of terminology such as "will," "may," "expects," "anticipates," "believes," "potential," "plan," "goal," "estimate," "likely," "should," "confident," and "intends," and similar expressions that are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Compugen to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Among these risks: Compugen's operations could be affected by the outbreak and spread of COVID-19, clinical development involves a lengthy and expensive process, with an uncertain outcome and Compugen may encounter substantial delays or even an inability to begin clinical trials for any specific product, or may not be able to conduct or complete its trials on the timelines it expects; Compugen relies, and expects to continue to rely, on third parties to conduct its clinical trials and if these third parties do not successfully carry out their contractual duties, comply with regulatory requirements or meet expected deadlines (including as a result of the effect of the COVID-19), Compugen may experience significant delays in the conduct of its clinical trials; Compugen's approach to the discovery of therapeutic products is based on its proprietary computational target discovery infrastructure, which is unproven clinically; Compugen does not know whether it will be able to discover and develop additional potential product candidates or products of commercial value; Compugen's business model is substantially dependent on entering into collaboration agreements with third parties; and Compugen may not be successful in generating adequate revenues or commercializing aspects of its business model. These risks and other risks are more fully discussed in the "Risk Factors" section of Compugen's most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as well as other documents that may be subsequently filed by Compugen from time to time with the SEC. In addition, any forward-looking statements represent Compugen's views only as of the date of this release and should not be relied upon as representing its views as of any subsequent date. Compugen does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements unless required by law. 

Company contact:

Elana Holzman Director, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications Compugen Ltd. Email:   Tel: +972 (3) 765-8124

Investor Relations contact:

Bob Yedid LifeSci Advisors, LLC Email:     Tel: +1 (646) 597-6989

Media contact:

Josephine Belluardo, Ph.D. LifeSci Communications  Email: Tel: +1 (646) 751-4361

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SOURCE Compugen Ltd.