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.”
Dr. Cohen-Dayag concluded, “As we further expand our infrastructure for future growth, we continue to be very pleased by the progress we are making in addressing our corporate objectives for 2013. These previously disclosed objectives include entering into collaboration arrangements with respect to certain product candidates in our Pipeline Program, furthering the research and development of product candidates and initiating our second focused area of discovery.”About CompugenCompugen is a leading drug discovery company focused on therapeutic proteins and monoclonal antibodies to address important unmet needs in the fields of immunology and oncology. The Company utilizes a broad and continuously growing integrated infrastructure of proprietary scientific understandings and predictive platforms, algorithms, machine learning systems and other computational biology capabilities for the in silico (by computer) prediction and selection of product candidates, which are then advanced in its Pipeline Program. The Company's business model includes collaborations covering the further development and commercialization of selected product candidates from its Pipeline Program and various forms of research and discovery agreements, in both cases providing Compugen with potential milestone payments and royalties on product sales or other forms of revenue sharing. In 2012, Compugen established operations in California for the development of oncology and immunology monoclonal antibody therapeutic candidates against Compugen drug targets. For additional information, please visit Compugen's corporate website at www.cgen.com. This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include words such as “may,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “potential,” “believes,” and “intends,” and describe opinions about future events. Forward-looking statements in this press release include, but are not limited to, statements relating to the expected ability to, and usefulness of, accurately predicting functional interaction sites of proteins; the potential of providing a wide range of drug discovery capabilities and applications, including enhanced discovery of functional therapeutic antibodies, through the use of the PSB Infrastructure Platform; and the possible future enablement of introducing selected specificities to antibodies in a predictable manner. 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. Some of these risks and other factors are discussed in the "Risk Factors" section of Compugen’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2012 as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 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.