In a presentation tomorrow at the Autoimmune & Inflammation Leaders’ Forum in Boston, Massachusetts, Galit Rotman, PhD, Chief Scientist of Therapeutics at Compugen Ltd. (NASDAQ: CGEN), will disclose results from an animal model study in which CGEN-15001, an Fc fusion protein drug candidate derived from a novel immune checkpoint protein discovered by Compugen, demonstrated potential to induce immune tolerance, a much desired goal for treatment of many immunological disorders. The presentation will also disclose recent positive results from a humanized animal model of psoriasis, further expanding the scope of autoimmune conditions potentially treatable by CGEN-15001. In her presentation, Dr. Rotman will disclose results from a recently completed bone marrow transplantation study in which CGEN-15001 was highly effective in preventing graft rejection, suggesting that this drug candidate acts through an induction of immune tolerance. Establishment of immune tolerance is a key goal in the treatment of autoimmune diseases. In comparison to current therapeutic approaches that generally suppress the immune system, tolerance induction would provide a sustained resolution of the disease without compromising the immune system’s capacity to fight infections and malignancies. The bone marrow transplantation study was performed as part of Compugen’s ongoing collaboration with Stephen Miller, Professor of microbiology-immunology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. In this study, bone marrow cells from male mice were transplanted into female mice of the same strain, followed by monitoring of the number of male cells in their blood. In CGEN-15001 treated animals, successful engraftment of the transplanted bone marrow cells was observed, while in control animals the transplanted cells were rejected. These results suggest that treatment with CGEN-15001 induces immune tolerance towards the transplanted cells. Additional data will also be presented for CGEN-15001 supporting this highly desired mechanism of action in type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis animal models.
Dr. Rotman will also disclose results from a recently completed psoriasis animal study performed in collaboration with Prof. Amos Gilhar from the Technion Institute in Israel, demonstrating CGEN-15001’s potential for treatment of this serious chronic medical condition. CGEN-15001 was tested in a humanized mouse model of psoriasis, in which a normal human skin patch is grafted onto immune-deficient mice, and disease is then induced by injection of blood cells taken from psoriasis patients. CGEN-15001 was injected into the skin graft starting on the day of disease induction, and the skin was subsequently analyzed for psoriatic histological characteristics. Results of this study demonstrated that treatment with CGEN-15001 was highly efficient in the prevention of psoriasis. Currently there is no cure for psoriasis, and treatment may include topical steroids, phototherapy, and systemic agents that suppress the immune system.About Immune Tolerance Immune tolerance is the normal state in which the immune system is programmed to avoid attacking the body’s own cells and tissues. When immune tolerance is compromised, the immune system can mistakenly identify the body’s own cells or tissues as foreign invaders, leading to various autoimmune diseases, such as diabetes type 1 or multiple sclerosis. Reprogramming the immune system to re-establish tolerance, termed tolerance induction, can lead to a sustained resolution of auto-immunity and prevention of transplant rejection. Furthermore, tolerance induction, as opposed to current therapeutic approaches that suppress the immune system, has the potential to specifically treat the immune condition without compromising the capacity of the immune system to fight infectious diseases and malignancies. Therefore, induction and establishment of immune tolerance is widely recognized as a key goal in the treatment of autoimmune diseases and prevention of transplant rejection. About CGEN-15001 CGEN-15001 is a novel Fc fusion protein drug candidate consisting of the fusion of an IgG Fc domain to the extracellular region of CGEN-15001T. CGEN-15001T is a novel immune checkpoint discovered by Compugen through its predictive discovery infrastructure and has been shown to have potential as a target for cancer immunotherapy. CGEN-15001 was shown to be effective in treating several autoimmune diseases in animal models, including multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes.
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 potential of CGEN-15001 to prevent transplant rejection and to treat multiple autoimmune conditions, including, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes and psoriasis. 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.