HOLON, Israel, June 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
Compugen Ltd. (NASDAQ: CGEN), a therapeutic discovery company, today disclosed new data for its COM701 immuno-oncology therapeutic antibody candidate demonstrating potential for dual- and triple-combination therapy with antibodies targeting TIGIT and PD-1. In addition to monotherapy applications, this combination approach may expand the responsive cancer patient population, including those who are partially responsive or refractory to PD-1 inhibitors. Furthermore, recent expression data in human tumors point to the potential of COM701 to treat cancer patients for whom current PD-1 pathway inhibitors have shown limited efficacy.
The preclinical data was highlighted in a poster presentation at the 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois. The poster titled "Discovery and Development of COM701, a Therapeutic Antibody Targeting the Novel Immune Checkpoint PVRIG" is available at http://www.cgen.com/media-center/publications.
The Company also reported that it held a clinical advisory meeting in Chicago in anticipation of initiating COM701 clinical studies next year. Key clinical physicians in the immuno-oncology space participated in the meeting that was led by members of Compugen's Scientific Advisory Board, Prof. Drew Pardoll, of Johns Hopkins University, Prof. Charles Drake, of Columbia University and Prof Antoni Ribas, of UCLA.
Anat Cohen-Dayag, PhD, President and CEO of Compugen stated, "The promising data presented today at ASCO further demonstrate the clinical and commercial potential of COM701 for both mono- and combination therapy, including in combination with our anti-TIGIT drug candidate COM902. It is our belief that these therapies have the potential to expand the responsive cancer patient population."
Dr. Cohen-Dayag continued, "Also, we were pleased to host our first clinical advisory meeting for COM701 with key oncologists in the immuno-oncology space. The data and discussion further supported the initiation of clinical trials for this potential first-in-class therapy."
The poster presented new in vivo data demonstrating that PVRIG blocking antibodies reduced the growth of tumors in TIGIT deficient mice, providing further support of the rationale for the clinical combination of COM701 with TIGIT blockade. In addition, new in vitro data demonstrate that COM701 can synergistically increase T cell activation in combination with either anti-TIGIT or anti-PD-1 antibodies. The combination of COM701 with an anti-TIGIT antibody resulted in equal or greater T cell stimulation than either of those antibodies in combination with anti-PD-1. Additionally, T cell activation was further enhanced by the triple combination of PVRIG/TIGIT/PD-1 blockade when targeting tumor cells with high PD-L1 expression. This suggests a possible treatment path for cancer patients whose tumors express PD-L1, including those who are refractory to anti-PD-1 therapeutics.
In addition, analysis of multiple human solid tumors including those of lung, kidney, head and neck and endometrial cancers identified expression of PVRIG and its ligand PVRL2, suggesting that patients with such cancers could benefit from treatment with COM701. Also, in certain tumors that were negative for PD-L1 expression, the analysis revealed high expression of PVRL2. This suggests the potential for COM701 to treat cancers where current PD-1 pathway inhibitors have shown limited efficacy.
COM701 is Compugen's lead therapeutic candidate targeting PVRIG, a novel B7/CD28-like immune checkpoint target candidate discovered by Compugen. COM701 is a humanized hybridoma antibody that binds to PVRIG with high affinity and blocks its interaction with PVRL2. Blockade of PVRL2 binding by COM701 results in potent, reproducible enhancement of T cell activation, consistent with the desired mechanism of action of activating T cells in the tumor microenvironment to generate anti-tumor immune responses. Consistent with the placement of PVRIG in the TIGIT axis, COM701 combined with antagonist anti-TIGIT antibodies has an additive effect on human T cell stimulation, indicating the potential of the combination to generate enhanced immune response against the cancer.
Compugen is a leading therapeutic discovery company whose mission is to utilize its broadly applicable predictive discovery infrastructure to discover novel drug targets and develop first-in-class therapeutics. Our current pipeline consists of early and preclinical stage immuno-oncology programs based on novel drug targets discovered internally, primarily immune checkpoint and myeloid protein target candidates. These programs focus on the development of first-in-class cancer immunotherapy drugs with the potential to harness the immune system to provide treatment solutions in areas of unmet medical need in various cancer types and patient populations, both as monotherapy and in combination with other drugs. In addition, our pipeline currently includes a preclinical fusion protein autoimmune product candidate. Compugen's business model is based on selectively entering into collaborations for its novel target candidates and related drug product candidates at various stages of research and development under revenue-sharing agreements. The Company is headquartered in Israel, with R&D facilities in Israel and South San Francisco. At the US facilities, therapeutic monoclonal antibodies are discovered and developed against the Company's novel drug target candidates. For additional information, please visit Compugen's corporate website at http://www.cgen.com.
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of terminology such as "will," "may," "expects," "anticipates," "believes," "potential," and "intends," and describe opinions about possible future events. 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 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. Moreover, the development and commercialization of therapeutic candidates involve many inherent risks, including failure to progress to clinical trials or, if they progress to or enter clinical trials, failure to receive regulatory approval. These and other factors 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.
Director, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications
SOURCE Compugen Ltd.