HOLON, Israel, April 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
Compugen Ltd. (NASDAQ: CGEN), a leading predictive drug discovery company, announced today that Elliott Sigal, M.D., Ph.D., former Executive Vice President and Director of Bristol-Myers Squibb, has joined Compugen Ltd. as a strategic advisor. The Company also announced that Drew Pardoll, M.D., Ph.D., Abeloff Professor of Oncology, Medicine, Pathology, and Molecular Biology and Genetics and Director of the Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, and Chairman of Compugen's Scientific Advisory Board, has in addition joined the Board of Directors of Compugen USA, Inc., Compugen Ltd.'s wholly-owned antibody discovery and development subsidiary.
When at BMS, Dr. Sigal worked in close partnership with Professor Pardoll and colleagues at Johns Hopkins to develop Opdivo (Nivolumab) from its earliest trials into one of the most important cancer treatments that has shown activity in many cancer types. Their dual appointment with Compugen reunites two influential leaders in immuno-oncology.
Dr. Elliott Sigal is a former Executive Vice President and Director of Bristol-Myers Squibb, and served as Chief Scientific Officer and President of R&D for BMS from 2004 until 2013. He was a principal architect of BMS' successful Biopharma Transformation Strategy and was instrumental in increasing R&D productivity, developing BMS' strategy in biologics and acquiring external innovation in Bristol's String of Pearls initiative. Among his accomplishments in various therapeutic areas was building BMS research into a lead position in the promising area of immuno-oncology. Under his leadership, fourteen new medicines for a broad range of therapeutic indications have come to market, including the major blockbusters Sprycel (Leukemia), Eliquis (Anticoagulant), Orencia (Rheumatoid Arthritis) and Yervoy, the first approved immune checkpoint inhibitor for cancer immunotherapy. In 2012, Dr. Sigal was named the leading R&D chief in the pharmaceutical industry by Scrip Intelligence.
Dr. Sigal currently serves as a Venture Partner and Senior Advisor to the healthcare team of New Enterprise Associates and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Mead Johnson Nutrition Company, Spark Therapeutics, Adaptimmune and the Melanoma Research Alliance. Dr. Sigal received his M.D. from the University of Chicago and trained in Internal Medicine and Pulmonary Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Prior to medical school he studied engineering at Purdue University, where he received a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D.
Prof. Drew Pardoll, the Chairman of Compugen's Scientific Advisory Board, is the Abeloff Professor of Oncology, Medicine, Pathology, and Molecular Biology and Genetics at Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, and Director of the newly inaugurated Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins. For the past two decades, Prof. Pardoll has studied molecular aspects of immune regulation, particularly related to mechanisms by which cancer cells evade elimination by the immune system and has made seminal advances in immunology, including the discovery of new types of immune cells and regulatory mechanisms. He was the first to propose blockade of PD-1 for cancer therapy, and his research led the clinical development of the first anti-PD-1 antibody. Prof. Pardoll is the inventor of a number of immunotherapies, including cancer vaccines, and was a scientific founder of Amplimmune Inc. He has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and Cancer Cell, and has been a member of numerous corporate and other scientific advisory boards. Prof. Pardoll completed his M.D., Ph.D, Medical Residency and Oncology Fellowship at Johns Hopkins University.
Anat Cohen-Dayag, Ph.D., President and CEO of Compugen, stated, "I am deeply honored to announce the addition of Dr. Sigal as a strategic advisor, and the enhanced involvement of Prof. Pardoll with Compugen. Dr. Sigal and Prof. Pardoll are well-recognized and highly distinguished leaders in the field of immuno-oncology, who have accomplished multiple key scientific, translational and commercial achievements in the field."
"Compugen is a predictive discovery company, with a primary focus on identifying novel immune checkpoint target candidates and developing first-in-class therapeutics against them, thus potentially creating the next wave of cancer immunotherapies. As we continue to transform our novel immuno-oncology targets to therapeutic antibody programs and advance them toward clinical evaluation, we enthusiastically look forward to benefiting from the guidance and invaluable experience of Dr. Sigal and Prof. Pardoll," added Dr. Cohen-Dayag.
Compugen is a leading therapeutic discovery company utilizing its broadly applicable predictive discovery infrastructure to identify novel drug targets and develop first-in-class biologics. The primary focus of the Company's current pipeline is on immune checkpoint target candidates discovered by the Company, potentially providing the basis for a next wave of therapeutics for cancer immunotherapy. Compugen's business model is based on selectively entering into collaborations for its novel target candidates and 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, monoclonal antibody therapeutic candidates are discovered and developed against the Company's novel 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," and "intends," and describe opinions about 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 may not be successful in generating revenues or commercializing aspects of our business model, and 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 as well as other documents that may be subsequently filed by Compugen from time to time 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.
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SOURCE Compugen Ltd.